By Greg Groogan
To debate or not to debate? That was the big question today in the race for Texas Governor.
Incumbent Rick Perry claims he’s willing if challenger Bill White releases all his personal income tax returns by midnight tonight.
White says Perry’s just making an excuse to avoid going head to head in public.
Houston’s former mayor appeared at his campaign headquarters and said he’s released all the financial records Texans need to see.
White says Perry is “disrespecting” voters by denying them a debate.
Perry was in Houston at a north side manufacturing plant.
He says it’s White who’s denying voters a debate, because he won’t release his income tax returns from his years in the Clinton administration.
Here’s a sampling of the debate over the debate from dueling press conferences.
“Until he lays his tax records out fully I don’t intend to debate him,” Perry said.
“He doesn’t want to account for the $18 billion budget hole and so much that has happened under his watch and stewardship,” White said.
“Bill White is hiding something in his tax returns for if he was not, he would have laid them out months ago,” Perry said.
“Fact is, we have released far more financial information and more complete information than Rick Perry has,” White said.
“I think that doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Perry.
“The more he is scripted in 30-second TV ads and talk about Obama, the less people will think about how he is doing as governor. That’s his game plan,” White said.
“Midnight tonight, midnight tonight,” Perry taunted.
“He’s just playing you and the people of Texas,” White said to reporters.