POLITICS

Rick Perry Undecided On GOP Debate Because Of Texas Wildfires

09/06/2011 11:57 am ET | Updated Nov 06, 2011

(AP) AUSTIN, Texas -- Gov. Rick Perry isn't yet saying if he plans to take part in a Republican presidential debate in California or stay in Texas to deal with wildfires that officials say destroyed more than 1,000 homes in a week.

Perry says he is "substantially more concerned" about the people affected by the wildfires than he is about the debate planned for Wednesday.

The longest-serving governor in Texas history says he expects federal assistance with the wildfires and expressed frustration that firefighting assets at Fort Hood are not already in use.

Perry interrupted campaigning in South Carolina and returned to Texas on Monday. He took an aerial tour early Tuesday of one of the areas destroyed by the wildfires.

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