Abbott Sends Migrant Buses to Broadway
as O'Rourke Packs Houses in Rural Texas

Capitol Inside
August 5, 2022

As Democrat Beto O'Rourke fired up excited crowds at standing-only events in Republican rural strongholds like Bastrop, Brenham and Rockdale, Governor Greg Abbott escalated a verbal duel with the leader of the nation's largest city on Friday when he announced that the first busload of migrants from Texas had arrived at Times Square in New York City.

"In addition to Washington D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city," Abbott said in a statement on Twitter. "I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief."

Three months out from the 2022 general election, Abbott is counting on his ability to create chaos and hardship in massive cities that are controlled by Democrats as a sign of strong leadership and success back in Texas. After running against Democratic President Joe Biden and O'Rourke in that order until now, Abbott's shift of focus to Adams is a highly risky move that could backfire by putting voters in position to choose between a veteran law enforcement officer or a career politician in the midst of a re-election campaign.

The feud with Adams would have fizzled at the start if the NYC leader hadn't responded to Abbott's invitation for him and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to come to Texas so he could show him how bad the problem with migrants is here now. While Bowser ignored the Texas governor's gamesmanship, Adams took the bait in the thinly-veiled Abbott trap when he acknowledged the offer and derided it as photo op with devious intentions.

Abbott said the original migrant busing plan with free trips to Washington D.C. brought about "much-needed relief to Texas' overwhelmed border communities." Texas sent more than 6,000 migrants who'd been cleared by the federal government for travel to a location near the U.S. Capital.

The governor directed the maiden migrant voyage to NYC in a charter bus that dropped off the passengers in the heart of Manhattan for the sake of disruption and payback for Abbott after being branded by Adams as a coward for the migrant busing plan to the nation's capital city. Abbott countered with a mocking appraisal of Adams braggadocio and piece of condescending counsel at the end.

"As one of the few cities in America with right to housing laws, New York City is required to provide emergency shelter for every unhoused person," Abbott said.

O'Rourke campaigned on Friday before capacity crowd at a meeting hall in Bastrop after playing to a full crowd at a country dance hall in Victoria the night before. The Democratic challenger filled the Barnhill Center at the Historic Simon Theatre in downtown Brenham with supporters on Friday afternoon. O'Rourke expected to do the same tonight at the Kay Theater in Rockdale before stops on Saturday in Madisonville, Marlin and Waco.

"Bastrop turned out on a Friday morning!" O'Rourke tweeted. "This community wants better for Texas: world-class public schools, expanding Medicaid, finally fixing the grid, and reducing property taxes."

O'Rourke posted a photo that showed him with supporters jammed into the Club Westerner in Victoria on Thursday night. "Back in Victoria for a town hall where Texans are united in wanting to expand Medicaid, fully fund our schools, pass commonsense gun safety laws, and legalize marijuana," O'Rourke tweeted.

The turnouts for the Democrat's Drive for Texas tour have to be a source of considerable angst for the Abbott campaign at a time when it's been rattled badly by a mass school shooting in Uvalde and radioactive law enforcement and political state response. O'Rourke has raised the bar on retail campaigning at the grassroots to an all-time high in the Lone Star State - pursuing a summer schedule like candidates for governor have traditionally reserved for the closing weeks of races with stops in multiple cities for most of the past three weeks. he former congressman from El Paso plans to cover 5,600 miles in a span of two months.

Abbott has countered the Democrat's aggressive ground game with an aggressive fundraising effort that will be used in large part on an inundation of the Texas airwaves with campaign commercials with money as the incumbent's only major advantage beyond partisan affiliation. The governor has been relying on Operation Lone Star as the singular central theme of a campaign that was blindsided by the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and the state's failed response that Abbott has yet to recognize publicly.

more to come ...








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