Rick Perry avoids budget shortfall question by criticizing estimated figures
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s post-election media blitz continued yesterday when he appeared on Fox News Sunday.
Host Chris Wallace followed the general media trend of questioning Perry’s intentions for 2012. As he has throughout the past month, Perry adamantly stated that he has no intention of seeking the presidency, instead pushing his federalist beliefs that state government is where the majority of political power should be invested.
The interview touched on fresher subjects when Wallace asked Perry about his plans for governing Texas. Wallace pushed Perry on the state’s expected budget shortfall, citing a $25 billion deficit projected by nonpartisan legislative experts. Perry largely ducked the question by instead challenging the figure.
“One thing I will take you to task on Chris is you’ve got a better crystal ball than anybody down here unless you’re just throwing numbers at the wall,” Perry said. “And with all due respect that number will not be known until January when our comptroller does make the official estimate.”
While it is true that all numbers are currently estimated, Perry and other Republicans have increasingly tried to bypass the budget issues by downplaying the size of the shortfall despite an onslaught of grim predictions from outside experts. As a Texas Tribune poll showed earlier today, a majority of political experts believe the deficit will be in excess of $20 billion.
Wallace attempted to get Perry specific on how he would close the shortfall. The governor suggested opting out of federal Medicaid as one avenue to reduce the budget, but he largely offered up vague ideas, summed up by saying “We’re not going to raise taxes, we’re going to reduce spending.”
Watch the full interview below: