Gov. Rick Perry unexpectedly skipped a press conference regarding the state of the Texas wildfires on Saturday, a move that may have added fuel to the criticism surrounding his handling of the disaster.
Perry was scheduled to speak at a conference in Bastrop County, Tex. but reportedly canceled after there was a last minute change in the location of the event, Allison Castle, a spokeswoman for the governor, told reporters after the briefing. Another Perry spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, claimed that by the time the briefing was rescheduled Perry would not have made it on time without having to make the attendees wait, The Texas Tribune Reports.
However, the press was notified about the change and still made it to the news conference. They were not informed that Perry would be a no-show until they arrived, according to multiple reports.
Local and state officials appeared at the briefing -- held at a burned-out home and chocolate shop -- to provide updates on a state voucher program that allows residents who have been displaced by the wildfires to stay in hotels, in advance of receiving federal aid.
Almost 1,400 homes were destroyed in Bastrop as a result of the blaze, the most destructive fire in state history.
Perry has been accused of neglecting his state as he spends more time vying for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election. He was also criticized after a member of his fundraising team cluelessly commented that fundraising for the Perry campaign was going like wildfire, a phrase that was deemed insensitive considering recent events in the Lone Star State.