Abbott Follows Cruz Lead with Decision
to Leave Texas as Hurricane Nears State

Capitol Inside
July 6, 2024

Governor Greg Abbott took a page from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's playbook for the July 4th weekend when he jetted off to China where he'll be safe from Hurricane Beryl when it slams into the Lone Star State as it appears poised to do in the next few days.

Cruz is still catching grief for abandoning the people he represents during a record winter storm so he could spend a few days of fun and sun with his family on the beaches in the resort town of Cancun on the Mexican Caribbean. Cruz's current Democratic opponent - U.S. Rep. Colin Allred - celebrated the anniversary of the senator's excursion to the tropics in February with a mocking post on the Republican frolicking in the sand while hundreds of constituents died at home.

Abbott wasn't worried about the embarrassment and humiliation that Cruz has been forced to endure when he determined this week that a junket to Asia under the guise of a trade mission was more important than his duty of directing the state's response to a summer storm that has the potential to wreak havoc here.

But Abbott apparently perceives himself as invincible and immune from criticism for the same basic behavior that made Cruz an international laughing stock and continues to haunt him today. Abbott may have determined that Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is perfectly capable of guiding Texas in a hurricane and could do ever better than the state's top leader himself.

Abbott and Patrick and their GOP allies in the Texas Legislature were all asleep at the wheel in February 2021 when Winter Storm Uri caused the state's independent power grid to fail. More than half of their constituents were left to fend for themselves without heat, electricity, water, food in some cases or any help out at all from the state. The grid's failure at the worst possible time was a consequence of years of neglect under Republican rule here.

Cruz may have thought he could sneak away for a few days until Texas thawed out. But a television camera crew spotted Cruz in an all but empty Houston airport pulling a suitcase while decked in a Texas flag mask for covid. Cruz was mocked again this year when he hatched a proposal that would have provided security for congressional members when they travel at airports in the U.S.

Abbott made no attempt to hide his decision to leave Texas when a potentially deadly storm was approaching. The governor chose to advertise this on social media instead.

"Kicked off our economic development mission to Asia in Taiwan," Abbott informed the folks back at home on Saturday morning in a post on X. "Started the evening with a high-level meeting that provides the possibility of a meaningful investment in Texas. Followed by a welcome dinner for the Texas delegation with our friends from Formosa Plastics Group."

Abbott attached a photograph that showed him in the Republic of China talking at a table with Peter Hwang - a property management company owner in Houston where he's served as the director of a municipal utility district as well. Hwang has been a leader in voter registration and turnout efforts in the Houston area for years.

Abbott appeared to be daring Democrats to make fun of his decision to leave the state behind in the hands of someone who's never been a governor and only has experience at the job in an acting role.

more to come ...







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