Failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke just confirmed that he is running for Governor of Texas. Beto pandered to the left when he was running in the Dem presidential primary taking some positions that will make him toxic to most Texans.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott seemed amused that Beto will run firing back with: “Bring it.”
He said: “Beto wants to: defund the police, kill good paying oil & gas jobs, allow chaotic open border policies, support the failing Biden agenda, impose socialism, take your guns. Bring it.
Beto told a local Texas media outlet of hi plans. Below is a partial transcript of the interview.
Texas Monthly: After months of rumors, can you confirm that you’re running for governor and, if so, why?
Beto O’Rourke: It’s true. Yeah. I want to serve this state and try to bring the people of Texas together to do some of the really big work that is before us and get past this smallness and divisiveness that Greg Abbott has brought to Texas.
You see it in the things he wants us to focus on right now, like which girls can play which sports in middle school, or what history teachers in public schools can teach. [In October, Abbott signed a law restricting transgender K-12 students from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity. In June he signed a slate of laws dictating how educators can discuss issues relating to race.] You see it in the absolute failure of our electric grid in February.
And you see all this in the midst of extraordinary opportunity and need in Texas. There are really big things that we should be doing, like ensuring that we have a world-class public school system, making sure that the best jobs that are created in America are being created right here in Texas, and then moving forward on things that make a lot of common sense and that a lot of people in our state agree on, such as expanding Medicaid so more people can see a doctor and be well enough to pursue their career or their education.
TM: Former state senator Don Huffines launched his primary campaign against Abbott on May 10. He has pulled the governor to the right on, among other issues, building a border wall in Texas, banning vaccine mandates by private employers, and auditing the results of the 2020 election in Texas. Without you in the race, there hasn’t been a countervailing voice from a Democratic candidate for governor. Do you think precious time to make the case against Abbott has been lost?
O’Rourke: I don’t, and I don’t know how much any candidate is going to have to do to convince the people of Texas that Greg Abbott has failed them as governor. By one report, seven hundred people were killed due to his mismanagement of the power grid.
And in the legislative session that followed, he did nothing meaningful to prepare us for the next winter storm or the next test of our electricity grid. His bungled response to COVID has resulted in more than seventy-one thousand Texans dead so far, and counting.
And then on the big things that I hear people talk about when I listen to them, like the quality of their kids’ schools, seventy percent of fourth graders in Texas are not able to read at grade level.
The average Texas teacher is paid ten thousand dollars less than the national average. Our schools and our kids are underfunded in their education. When you look at jobs, we used to be the jobs leader in America.
This past year, we ranked thirty-first in job creation, and because of things like the abortion ban we’re beginning to lose Texas-based employers or relocation opportunities to this state. And then when it comes to health care over the last ten years, the majority of which Greg Abbott was governor, we left more than one hundred billion dollars on the table [in federal funds that would be available to the state if it expanded Medicaid eligibility].
And I think the people of Texas know that. I’ve seen it in the polling that shows him very unpopular, and a large number of Texans [52 percent] see the state headed in the wrong direction.
So I don’t I don’t think any time has been lost.
But we also have a wonderful opportunity over the next year to really make this case both about how Abbott has failed Texas and what we can do to ensure that this state truly reaches its potential.
TM: Abbott’s popularity has waned, but you enter the race even less popular. Unlike in 2018, you are now a well-known and polarizing figure, and the Abbott campaign will make sure Texans repeatedly hear the statements you made when you ran for president that put you to the left of most Texas voters. Will those define you negatively?
O’Rourke: I don’t think this will be much of a campaign if it’s about me. I think it really has to be about Texas. It has to be about all of us.
Beto wants to:
– defund the police
– kill good paying oil & gas jobs
– allow chaotic open border policies
– support the failing Biden agenda
– impose socialism
– take your guns.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 15, 2021