AUSTIN – Veterans across Texas are outraged today at an attack ad purchased by the liberal, trial lawyer-funded Back to Basics PAC. The full-page ad, which ran in newspapers across Texas, calls Gov. Rick Perry a “coward.” This, in spite of the fact that Gov. Perry flew C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in the Middle East as an officer in the United States Air Force.

“Bill White should be ashamed of himself for supporting the gutless attacks his supporters have levied against Governor Perry,” said Navy SEAL and Afghanistan veteran Macrus Lutrell. “While Bill White lacked the courage to serve in the military, Governor Perry enlisted in the Air Force after college and truly knows what it means to have served our nation. Bill White is a complete phony who claims to support the military but has instead tried to restrict military voting rights. Bill White needs to take a long look at himself and maybe he will see what a coward really looks like.”

“Only someone who never served in the armed forces would have the gall to call a veteran of the United States Air Force a coward,” said US Navy veteran and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton. “Bill White has a lot of nerve allowing his trial lawyer buddies to attack Governor Perry, a proud veteran who truly supports the men and women of the military. Not only has Governor Perry worn the uniform of the United States, but there has been no better friend to returning veterans and specifically Medal of Honor recipients than Governor Perry. Since retiring from the Air Force, Governor Perry has always supported our men and women in uniform, and only a person who has served understands what that means.”

Added Texas Land Commissioner and Marine Corps veteran Jerry Patterson: “Those who serve in our armed forces today, as well the veterans who have served before, certainly cannot be described as ‘cowards.’ While political discourse makes our democracy strong, it borders on the bizarre for a candidate who has never served in the armed forces to call another who has a coward. Bill White may not have personally made the charge, but those who work for him did, and Bill White should repudiate it. It’s the right thing to do.”

“Bill White should rein in his irresponsible trial lawyer allies,” said Republican Party spokesman and Air Force veteran Bryan Preston. “This Back to Basics PAC is bankrolled by Houston trial lawyer Steve Mostyn, a man who has made his millions filing lawsuits that have made Texans’ home insurance rates skyrocket in the past few years, while making himself extremely rich. Mostyn’s agenda is to overturn Texas’ successful tort reform so that he can keep filing lucrative lawsuits, and trial lawyer Bill White is only too happy to help out with that. If anyone is the coward here, it’s Bill White for hiding behind various front groups and attacking our great Governor from the weeds. Bill White should distance himself from Mostyn immediately and return all political contributions that Mostyn has given him.”