Huffpost Politics

Rick Perry Skipping Palmetto Freedom Forum, Heading Back To Texas To Address Wildfires

Posted: Updated:
RICK PERRY PALMETTO FREEDOM FORUM
AP

Texas Governor Rick Perry will not participate in Monday's Palmetto Freedom Forum, Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C) office tells CNN.

DeMint is hosting the GOP primary event, which Perry was initially scheduled to attend. Local station WSPA reports that Perry's office confirms the Republican presidential contender is heading back to Texas to address wildfires plaguing the state.

(Click here for a full preview of the South Carolina forum.)

The AP reports on the Texas wildfires:

Authorities say a wildfire burning southeast of Austin, Texas, has destroyed about 300 homes and is advancing unchecked through parched ranchland along a 16-mile front.

Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Jan Amen said Monday that firefighters have been unable to begin containing the blaze in Bastrop County. The forest service says the fire has destroyed as many as 300 homes scorched more than 17,500 acres.

The fire is roughly 30 miles from Austin and is moving away from the city.

KVUE-TV in Austin reports that nearly half of the 6,000-acre Bastrop State Park has burned.

With Perry out, the list of GOP hopefuls taking part in the forum includes: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), and former Godfathers's Pizza CEO Herman Cain.

According to the Washington Examiner's Byron York, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who will present candidates with questions at the event, called Perry's change of plans "a big disappointment to me."

ABC News reports that the Texas governor still intends to participate in Wednesday's presidential debate in California.

UPDATE: DeMint tells ABC News of Perry's last-minute change of plans, "He has to make his own decision, but certainly we are disappointed."

Around the Web

Office of the Governor - Rick Perry

Rick Perry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rick Perry's College Transcript: A Lot Of Cs And Ds

Rick Perry Campaign: 10 Reasons He Is Too Extreme to Win

Rick Perry and the death penalty

Rick Perry to Skip South Carolina Forum to Deal with Texas Wildfires

Texas Governor Perry To Skip DeMint Presidential Candidate Forum

Perry's fiery 'Fed Up!' may come back to haunt him

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote