AUSTIN, Texas — Today, Gov. Greg Abbott made his monthly taxpayer-funded visit to the border to pander to rightwing primary voters on Texans’ dime. However, for this month’s edition of Abbott’s favorite political stunt, the failed and flailing Texas governor was joined by nine rightwing governors from around the country — most hailing from closer to the northern border than our southern one. Meanwhile, the disgraced Senator Ted Cruz held a separate press conference from D.C., to remind Texans that although he can’t be counted on during a catastrophic winter power outage, he can always be relied on attack immigrants and stoke hate.
With Abbott’s approval ratings consistently at all-time lows for the past month, it’s no wonder the governor made recourse to his time-worn strategy: fail Texans in almost every way possible, then try to distract from those failures by stoking fear and scapegoating immigrants. However, today, Abbott crossed new lines of both callousness and government overreach.
Without regard, Abbott and Cruz went ahead with their press conferences despite an active shooting situation taking place at Arlington’s Timberview High School, with Cruz barely paying lip service to the events before pivoting to disingenuous attacks on immigrants. And while Abbott keeps showing up at the border when it’s politically convenient, it could not be more obvious where his true priorities lie. Abbott has sold out South Texas communities in almost every way imaginable — whether by abandoning border communities during the pandemic, slashing Latino voting rights, or fueling militarization of communities that makes life harder for border residents.
Now, Abbott is parachuting in out-of-staters to meddle in border communities — even though our national borders lie far outside the jurisdiction of any governor. Nor is it the first time Abbott has funneled outside support to meddle in the lives of Texans living on the border. Today, the Texas Tribune broke the bombshell news that out of the $54 million raised toward Abbott’s border wall fund — again, far outside the governor’s jurisdiction — almost 98% of the funding came from a single Wyoming billionaire.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Today, Greg Abbott once again showed Texans just how little he actually cares about us. With students and families reeling from an ongoing active shooting situation, Abbott had the gall to turn his attention to his own political gain. He went right ahead with his latest fear-mongering, scapegoating press conference on the border, alongside 9 out-of-state governors who have no business meddling in the lives of Texas border residents.
“Abbott is going to keep stoking anti-immigrant hate, making life harder for border residents, and advancing his political agenda on taxpayers’ dime until we vote him out. That’s exactly what Texas Democrats are fighting every day to do — because Texas has had enough of Abbott’s failed leadership and refusal to be responsible for the health and safety of all Texans. We need a governor who will actually prioritize our biggest issues and put people first, and time after time, Abbott has shown us that he’s just not up for the job.”
“The American people elected Joe Biden to clean up the gigantic mess from the last four years. Democrats are working to restore our promise to the American people and to the tradition of democracy by protecting human rights and putting working people first. If Greg Abbott wants to criticize leadership, we can start with the governor’s mansion in Austin.”