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Rick Perry flaming out, Obama Cabinet official says

October 04, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Ron Kirk, United States trade representative, exits Air Force One after arriving at Dallas Love Field on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.
Ron Kirk, United States trade representative, exits Air Force One after… (David Woo / Dallas Morning…)

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk jabbed at Rick Perry's fading political fortunes as he traveled to Texas with President Obama on Tuesday.

"Too often the brightest stars are comets. But they flame out the fastest because they consume themselves on their own energy," Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas, told reporters on Air Force One en route to the city.

"I think there are some lessons to be learned there in life and in politics. How quickly and how brightly we burn," he said.

As Obama has traveled the country touting his jobs plan, it has not gone unnoticed how the White House has chosen settings loaded with political significance. Just weeks ago, he spoke in front of a decaying bridge that linked the home states of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Though Texas has been deeply red in presidential elections in recent history, the Obama campaign has signaled some interest in competing there, in part because of its rapidly growing Latino population.

Perry's presence in the race may also have guided the White House's thinking when it planned the event, given his seemingly brief moment as the GOP frontrunner. But Kirk denied such motivation, talking of Obama's fondness for the state since he visited in the 2008 campaign.

"We're not trying to embarrass anybody as much as we're trying to make the case that these things make sense for the American public and that America's families need help now," Kirk said.

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