Texas wildfires are forcing Gov. Rick Perry to walk a philosophical tightrope. A strong advocate for a smaller federal government, he's chiding the Obama administration for not helping more during the Texas wildfires.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, currently a GOP front-runner for next year's presidential nomination, left the campaign trail in South Carolina to return to Texas to command what's become an epic battle against dozens of major runaway wildfires.
Since December, some 21,000 Texas wildfires have burned 3.6 million acres and claimed more than 1,500 structures, including nearly 1,000 over Labor Day alone as a 14-mile-wide fire burned across Bastrop County, 25 miles east of Austin. The fire instantly became the most destructive in the state's history as it joined dozens of other major conflagrations cutting across over 100,000 acres in bone dry central Texas.
While the Texas wildfires provide an opportunity for the only sitting governor in the presidential race to display his leadership bona fides, the disaster is also leaving Governor Perry open to charges of hypocrisy from the tea party movement. Some small-government advocates are asking why Perry, a states' rights proponent and critic of federal power, is berating the Obama administration for dragging its heels in sending federal taxpayer money and resources to Texas.
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