Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rick Perry Is Not Coming to Town After All

The Texas governor postpones his Chicago trip to talk border security with President Obama

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Rick Perry Is Not Coming to Town After All

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After so much hype on his end, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has scrapped plans to visit Chicago this week as part of a grandstanding mission to persuade Illinois businesses to relocate to the Lone Star State.

Perry tabled the trip in order to meet with President Obama on Wednesday to talk border issues. The president is in Texas for two days of fundraising amid mounting controversy over his refusal to stop by the U.S.-Mexico border, which would be his first appearance there since May 2011.

The Republican governor, who's not-so-secretly mulling another presidential run, had initially declined an invitation to greet Obama at Austin's airport, saying a "quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for thoughtful discussion." He extended an offer for a one-on-one with Obama to have a larger discussion, leading White House adviser Valerie Jarrett to invite Perry to join other Texas elected officials for a meeting with Obama in Dallas. The No. 1 topic of conversation: the surge of children without parents arriving at the border. Obama on Tuesday asked Congress to earmark $3.7 billion in emergency funds for what he called an "urgent humanitarian situation."

Perry was to meet with several unspecified Illinois companies on Tuesday in an effort to pitch them on moving their headquarters to Texas. His Wednesday plans had included lunch at Gibson's on the Gold Coast. Perry's Chicago tour is "off for now. Hopefully he will make it up there soon," his office told Crain's Chicago Business.

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