An full-page advertisement set to run in several Texas newspapers on Tuesday labels Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) a “coward” for refusing to debate his Democratic opponent and not meeting with editorial boards.
“We think it speaks for itself,” said Cliff Walker, the PAC Director for Back To Basics, the group running the ad. “We know it’s bold language.”
Perry’s campaign said earlier this month that he would not meet with the boards or debate Democratic challenger Bill White.
“We’ve made the decision that a better use of the governor’s time is to talk directly to Texans and reporters throughout the state,” spokesman Mark Miner said. He noted the Perry campaign would continue to use social media.
Walker told TPMMuckraker that there had been some political hay made over calling Perry a chicken, but said the candidate was scared of owning up to his record as governor.
“He’s afraid of the record he’s established,” Walker said. The advertisement cites several topics that the group says Perry should answer questions about, including on his record on the deficit in Texas, his record on education and his tax policies. “These are things that Texans deserve to know. He’s using clear stall tactics,” Walker said.
As Perry has become a national figure in the tea party movement, Walker said Texans deserve to examine his record and hold him accountable.
“The Governor is trying to play a game here where he tries to convince people he’s some sort of outsider who is crusading against the government,” Walker said. “He’s no newbie.”
Perry seems to be more interested in a future run for President than Texas, Walker said. “When all you can talk about is Barack Obama, it sounds like you’re getting ready to run for president.”
The Perry campaign did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
The ad is reprinted below.