Dan Patrick Falls for President Power Play
that Draws More Attention to Missing Gov

Capitol Inside
July 10, 2024

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appeared to stumble blindly into a trap on Wednesday when he attempted to defend himself from charges of mismanagement during Hurricane Beryl as the acting leader of the Texas response to the deadly storm while Governor Greg Abbott traveled abroad.

Patrick - the acting governor in Abbott's absence - stringently disputed President Joe Biden's claim that the Texas Republican power duo dropped the ball on Beryl with a tag-team approach to disaster management as the hurricane crashed into Texas and left millions of people without power in its wake.

The Texas Senate president denied the president's assertion in an Houston Chronicle interview that neither he or Abbott could be reached to get the formal process of approving federal aid in motion. Patrick said in a lengthy post on X that he spoke with Biden for three minutes on a cell phone that belonged to Texas Department of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd. Patrick suggested he'd been baffled on why the president called Kidd's phone when federal employees had given him the lieutenant governor's personal number.

"To suggest that the president could not find me or the governor is ridiculous. The bottom line is this: I asked for a federal disaster declaration at the proper time without delay and the president agreed. Sadly, President Biden is attacking Gov. Abbott and me, trying to score political points, for reasons that make no sense. Mr. President, as you like to say, “C’mon, man!”

Patrick didn't appear to consider that the insulting accusations in the Texas newspaper were simply bait. Patrick's impassioned defense of his own actions as a substitute for the governor drew more unwanted attention to Abbott's decision to bolt on a three-city tour of Asia when Texas was the largest and most likely target in the hurricane's path.

The portrait of incompetence that Biden painted in the paper was his way of taking advantage of a monumental faux pas on the part of a governor who's blamed the president constantly for the problems that he and the ruling Republicans in Austin have failed to solve.

Abbott has falsely accused Biden of doing nothing to curb immigration at the southern border - ignoring several federal actions that culminated in falling migrant rates before Texas contributed to the decline with razor wire fencing and other barriers on the Rio Grande in selective locations. The governor has tried to take sole credit for a drop in illegal crossings when the Biden administration and the Mexican government arguably deserve an equal share or more.

The president has bigger concerns than Abbott and underlings in Texas in the midst of intense pressure from some fellow Democrats to cancel a re-election race after a disastrous showing in a debate with Donald Trump last month. But Biden couldn't pass on a chance to give Abbott a dose of his own medicine by pinning the blame for delays in emergency aid to hurricane victims on the governor after he'd set himself up for criticism with a decision to leave the country when Beryl was bearing down on the state.

Abbott denied the insulting accusations from the nation's chief executive - saying in a post on X that the president was suffering from "memory failure" and had made no attempt to call him on his cell phone despite the fact that ostensibly had the governor's personal number. Biden told the Texas newspaper that he couldn't find Abbott to get the process for approving federal aid in motion.

Patrick said in a lengthy X post that he spoke to the president for three minutes about the disaster declaration on a phone that belongs to Kidd - the director of the Texas Department of Emergency Management. Patrick suggested that he'd been baffled by the fact that the president called Kidd's phone when federal officials had obtained the lieutenant governor's cell phone number just 10 minutes before.

The answer appeared evident. Biden was playing the Texans at a time Abbott was vulnerable amid ferocious criticism about his shirking important duties so he could travel the world. Abbott sought again on Wednesday to push back on claims of dereliction and bumbling on Beryl - writing in a post on X that he's been in "regular contact" with Patrick and Kidd about the storm response.

"Texans’ safety remains our top priority," Abbott assured constituents from South Korea where he spent the past two days.

Abbott met one day in Seoul with SK Signet officials to thank them for an EV charging plant they built in Plano last year. The EV industry poses a potential fatal threat to Texas oil and gas interests who Abbott has vowed to protect.

Abbott experienced a moment that should have been embarrassing when he made a speech at the U.S. ambassador's resident in Seoul and the diplomat who lives there was a no-show for the sales pitch on Texas.

The governor announced on Tuesday that he also met with executives for a South Korean company that's promised to invest $10 million metal manufacturing facility in Texas. But Abbott didn't say if Texas would have scored the metal plant regardless of whether he traveled to the city where they're based to tout the deal. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are notorious for attempts to take credit for major initiatives they have the ability to make public regardless of their actual contribution to their development.

more to come ...







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