Politics & Government

Texas GOP celebrates Obama's anniversary with thank you — to Massachusetts

FORT WORTH — Texas Republicans marked the anniversary of President Barack Obama's inauguration Wednesday by saying thank you.

Not to Obama and the Democratic-led Congress.

To Massachusetts, where voters Tuesday elected Scott Brown — a Republican — to fill the U.S. Senate seat occupied for decades by Edward Kennedy, a staunch Democrat. "This is a great way to send [Obama] a present," said Stephanie Klick, who heads the Tarrant County Republican Party. "We hope to have more of those presents to come."

Klick was joined by Gov. Rick Perry; state Reps. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills; and Robert Shelton, R-Fort Worth; and more than 40 supporters at the Tarrant County Republican Party headquarters.

The leaders talked about Democratic-led initiatives, ranging from cap-and-trade energy legislation to the pending health care bill, that they say are bad for Texans and the state. Perry also praised Massachusetts voters, saying they stood up and helped "slow down Washington powerbrokers."

For months, Perry has said that leaders in Washington — including his chief rival in his re-election bid, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison — overreached their authority.

Some Texas Democratic leaders say Perry's negative comments Wednesday were his way of trying to divert attention from his own performance.

"For Rick Perry, blaming Washington is just a career politician's trick to duck responsibility and hope Texans won't notice his failed record as governor," said Boyd Richie, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party. "Career politicians blame someone else for all their problems, but real leaders work to solve them."

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