Is President Obama’s failure to sign a disaster declaration for the Texas wildfires due to an anti-Texas bias?
On Mark Levin’s radio program Wednesday night, Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry speculated that one of the reasons federal assistance for the rampant wildfires has not been forthcoming might just be because the state in question is Texas.
“We’ve had two – well, over two-and-a-half million acres of Texas burn-off this year and yet the federal government has not approved our major disaster declaration,” Perry said. “And you know, it’s really frustrating to me to see people lose everything that they’ve got, you know – burning houses up and livestock. And the federal government refuses to assist. And you got to ask yourself, is it just because it’s Texas or something? Is it something I said?” (RELATED: Rick Santelli blasts Obama following weak jobs report: ‘Shame on him’)
Earlier in the program Perry noted that the president has not even visited the state to survey the damage.
“No [he has not visited],” Perry answered Levin. “And you know, we’ve had a request in for – one of the things the federal government is supposed to do is help states that have natural disasters, whether it’s a hurricane – our friends up in the Northeast, God bless them for what they are going through. But you know, Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Gustav, obviously Katrina – those are places where the federal governments are supposed to step in and assist these states.”
Perry is not the first Texan to allege a bias on the part of the Obama White House. In June, Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison explained her suspicions about the administration’s view of Texas.
“I see a bias in this administration against Texas,” Hutchison said on MSNBC. “I do see it in this administration absolutely. We didn’t get the help on the wildfires that any other state would have gotten. We had to fight hard for our education money.”
“I think if you look at the things that have not happened in Texas, I think it is pretty clear that there is a bias against Texas,” Hutchison added, explaining that some of the Texas anti-federal government rhetoric has rubbed the administration the wrong way.
In May, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Hutchison sent a letter to Obama, requesting Obama declare a disaster area in Texas. When the administration denied their request, Cornyn lashed out.
“When nearly 7,000 individual wildfires burn through more than 2.2. million acres, result in loss of life, and destroy homes, businesses, farms and ranches across the state, it’s hard to understand how these conditions don’t spell ‘disaster’ for this administration,” Cornyn said.
Thursday, the Texas Forest Service released its most recent report on area wildfires. Since the November 15, 2010 inception of the “fire season” firefighters have fought 20,631 fires that have burned 3,549,047 acres of Texas land.