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Underwoods
Jun 292013
 

ABC News(FORT WORTH, Texas) — The Democratic state senator who is leading the fight against significant new restrictions on abortions in Texas said Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans were hypocritical, claiming to support smaller government but actually trying to increase state intrusion in people’s lives.

Wendy Davis, the lawmaker who almost single-handedly overcame and outlasted the Republican majority in the state senate last week, is preparing for another battle on Monday. Armed with her new-found fame in Democratic circles in Texas and across the nation, Davis vowed to fight even harder.

“He’s awfully fond of talking the talk of small government,” Davis told ABC’s This Week, escalating an intense quarrel with Perry. “But this [anti-abortion legislation] is big government intrusion, there is no question about it.”

In an interview to be broadcast Sunday, Davis sat down with This Week inside the Stage West Theatre in Fort Worth, where she worked her way from being a waitress to a Harvard-educated lawyer to a heroine in the eyes of many Democrats.

She offered a window into the secrets of standing and talking for more than 11 straight hours during a legislative filibuster: her dusty running shoes (size 7 Mizuno, narrow); a catheter that allowed her to avoid bathroom breaks (“I came prepared,” she explained); and how she felt the spirit of her hero, the late Gov. Ann Richards, during her marathon session in the Capitol in Austin.

“I was going to wear just some little flat dress shoes. At the last minute, I was running out of my apartment and I thought maybe I might need something with a little more support, so I grabbed these on the way out the door,” Davis said, pointing to her sneakers that have gained Internet fame. “These are actually my running shoes. They’re dusty from the trail around Ladybird Lake.”

In an expansive interview about her life, the state of Texas politics and her future, Davis said she was heartened by the outpouring of support from women and Democrats, which catapulted her from local legislator to one of her party’s prospective rising stars. Asked if she planned to run for governor in 2014, she smiled.

Perry, who has singled out Davis for sharp criticism for her efforts to stop legislation to make Texas one of the most restrictive states in the country to get an abortion, is calling the state senate back Monday for another 30-day special session to try passing the bill.

The measure would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and require abortion clinics to match the requirements of surgical centers. Critics of the legislation say it could force the closure of all but five of the state’s 42 abortion clinics.

“I just refuse to say I believe it will happen. I’m an eternal optimist,” Davis said. “I believe in the power of democracy and I’m going to fight with every fiber I have to keep it from passing.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jun 152013
 

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a bit of an “oops” moment on Saturday when he mistakenly referred to the administration’s response to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi as occurring in Lebanon instead of Libya.

“I fear where we’ve come to in America, where our administration won’t make one phone call to save our men and women in a embassy in Lebanon,” Perry said at the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.

Earlier in his speech, Perry referred to his brush with forgetfulness during the 2012 Republican presidential primary and shared with the crowd why he personally relates to Peter the Apostle.

“It was the same Peter whose mouth sometimes ran faster than his brain,” Perry said. “Let me tell you I can relate to Peter.

“I’ve learned a little bit about humility, particularly on national television,” Perry said. “But the fact is, God hadn’t called the perfect to go into the arena of public service. He’s called people just like you and just like me.”

Despite the mistake in his speech Saturday, Perry urged Republicans to adopt the demeanor of a “happy warrior” and doled out a simple piece of advice for conservatives.

“Smile when you disagree with a liberal,” Perry said. “Shake your head as Ronald Reagan once said, he said you know, liberals know so much that isn’t so.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Feb 262013
 

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(NEW YORK) — Is Texas Gov. Rick Perry a Guitar Hero fan?

Buzzfeed first unearthed a photo from a Tumblr account showing Perry holding a guitar for the popular video game Guitar Hero with what appeared to be a teenage girl.

A spokeswoman for Perry said the photo was taken at a next-door neighbor’s house when the Perrys lived at a temporary mansion in Austin, Texas.  Perry was visiting at the home for an event, and the girl was his neighbor’s daughter.

The spokeswoman said Perry posed for the photo, but it was unclear if he actually played the video game.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Feb 222013
 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texas Governor Rick Perry is sending a recruitment message to gun and ammunition manufacturers — set up shop in Texas.

Perry sent letters to 26 gun and ammunition manufacturers earlier this month inviting them to consider a move to Texas if the states they currently operate in impose “restrictive laws” on their industry, according to a copy of the letter and a list of the manufacturers provided to ABC News by the governor’s office.

“A number of states in the United States are seriously considering restrictive laws impacting firearms manufacturers.  While I support the efforts of law enforcement to identify, apprehend, prosecute and punish criminals who use firearms in the commission of their crimes, I do not believe that imposing additional requirements or restrictions on businesses is the correct approach,” Perry wrote in the letter, which was dated Feb. 7.

“As you consider your options for responding to unwarranted government intrusion into your business, you may choose to consider relocating your manufacturing operations to a state that is more business-friendly.  There is no other state that fits the definition of business-friendly like Texas,” Perry wrote, pointing out financial incentives the state offers companies.

Perry sent the letter to such firearms manufacturers as Bushmaster Firearms International LLC, Glock, Inc., Sig Sauer Inc. and Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation.

Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Philip Gunn made a similar overture Thursday, inviting 14 gun manufacturers to his state. He said, “Gun manufacturers are under attack in anti-Second Amendment states.”

One manufacturer which both Perry and Gunn reached out to is Magpul Industries Corp., based in Erie, Colo.  Magpul, which the Denver Post reported was “Colorado’s largest and most profitable manufacturer of high-capacity ammunition magazines,” has said it might move its shop to another state if Colorado enacts four new gun bills which passed the Colorado House of Representatives earlier this week.  Vice President Joe Biden phoned Colorado lawmakers last week, encouraging them to vote for the four bills, a White House aide confirmed.

Magpul placed a full-page ad in the Denver Post on Sunday.  “A magazine ban will do more than hurt public safety in a free Colorado.  It will force a Colorado company to leave the state,” the ad read.

ABC News reached out to Magpul for comment on the overtures made by other states, but a spokesman did not immediately respond.  In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the company said it’s still considering its options as the Colorado gun control bill heads to the state Senate for a vote.

“It appears that someone has posted or sent out some sort of notice that we are moving to a specific location. We can assure you that no decision has been made about location, and that we are still fighting this battle,” Magpul wrote on Facebook.  “We are, however, assembling our requirements and looking at various areas that would be suitable for our new home, should it come to that. We appreciate all the offers, and we will begin talking to various entities about those shortly.”

Perry has made no secret of his desire to lure businesses to Texas.  Earlier this month, he conducted a recruiting tour in California, sparring with California Gov. Jerry Brown and Lieutenant Gov. Gavin Newsom.  Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott ran advertisements in New York last month inviting New Yorkers to move to Texas after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo started a new gun-control push.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Apr 112012
 

Allison Joyce/Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) — Will Rick Perry run for Texas governor in 2014 and continue his streak as the longest-serving current governor? All signs suggest a re-election bid, but a decision will come “at the appropriate time,” a Perry spokeswoman said Wednesday.

“The governor’s conservative policy development, job creation efforts and strong political organization point to another run for governor in 2014,” Catherine Frazier said in an email. “Any such announcement will be made publicly at the appropriate time.”

Paul Burka, an editor at Texas Monthly, wrote earlier Wednesday that Perry told donors at a fundraiser that he would run in 2014, sparking questions about whether he will pursue a bid for the governorship again.

Perry assumed the governorship Texas in 2000 when George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, was elected president. Perry has served as governor for 11 years.

Perry’s team has said in the past that the Texas governor has not ruled out a presidential bid in 2016.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio