Obama calls rival Perry over Texas wildfires

Who says President Obama isn’t playing nice with his Republican rivals?

On Wednesday, Obama gave a ring to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who also happens to be the leading Republican candidate aiming to take his job at the White House.

Awkward.

But in this case, the call wasn’t political. Rather, Obama extended condolences to Perry for the worst wildfires in Texas history, which have killed four people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes in the past three days.

The president also offered federal aid to the state and municipal governments, as they fight the fires, the White House said in a news release. Obama assured Perry “that requests for additional assistance, including as recovery begins, would be quickly assessed,” the statement read.

There was no immediate reaction from Perry, who left the state Wednesday to fly to California to make his first appearance at a Republican presidential debate.

In April, Perry blasted Obama for declaring Alabama an emergency disaster zone after tornadoes killed 200, while the president did not do the same for the Lone Star state despite wildfires raging across 2 million acres that month.

“Why are you taking care of Alabama, why are you taking care of other states,” Perry asked then. “The letter didn’t get lost in the mail.”

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

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