Abbott and O’Rourke clash over gun restrictions in solitary debate over Texas jurisdiction
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke clashed over gun restrictions during a debate on Friday night, and O’Rourke claimed that Abbott blamed “everyone” others” about mass shootings while “misleading this state.”
O’Rourke said during their debate at the University of Texas: “It’s been 18 weeks since their children were killed, and nothing has changed in this state to cause any other child to suffer the same. must the same fate. Rio Grande Valley in Edinburgh. “All we needed was action, and the only person standing in our way was the governor of Texas.”
Abbott was shown a video of a kid in Uvalde asking why Texas didn’t raise the minimum age to buy an assault rifle. He said he believed such a move would be “unconstitutional” according to recent court rulings.
“We want to end school shootings, but we can’t do it by making false promises,” Abbott said.
Abbott also said he opposes “red flag” laws, saying those laws “will deny the rights of legal gun owners in Texas.”
O’Rourke, meanwhile, is not backing down from the comments he made as a 2020 presidential candidate, following the racially motivated mass shooting at the El Paso Walmart in 2019, that he would seek to confiscate assault-style rifles such as the AR-15 and AK-47. But he said as governor he would be “focused on what we can accomplish”.
He said that would include raising the minimum age to buy such guns to 21, implementing global background checks and enacting “red flag” laws.
“This is common ground,” he said, citing conversations with Republican and Democratic voters, as well as the families of those killed in Uvalde.
Friday night’s confrontation was the only scheduled debate between Abbott, the Republican seeking a third term as governor, and O’Rourke, the former El Paso Democrat who narrowly missed out. in the 2018 race against Senator Ted Cruz was elected Texas Democrat.
Democrats have not won a director race in Texas since Ann Richards was elected governor in 1990. Nor has the party won a statewide race in the Lone Star State since 1994. – Democratic Party‘ longest losing streak statewide in the country.
Abbott, who is seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has consistently led in the polls. One Quinnipiac University Survey conducted September 22-26 found the governor with a 7-point advantage over O’Rourke among likely voters, 53% to 46%.
The most recent campaign financial reports in mid-July show that O’Rourke is keeping up with Abbott’s fundraising, but the incumbent maintains a significant cash advantage with $46 million in the bank versus with its competitor’s $24 million.
On the campaign trail, O’Rourke has criticized Abbott’s opposition to abortion rights – the governor signed the so-called trigger law last year, which went into effect in August and banned nearly all abortions in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Amphibious. Democrats have also criticized the Abbott administration’s management of the power grid during last winter’s freeze and the governor’s rejection of gun restrictions in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting.
The famous O’Rourke confrontation Abbott and other officials at a news conference in Uvalde the day after the shooting, said, “The time to stop the next shooting is now and you do nothing.”
Meanwhile, Abbott has campaigned on tough border security policies, including sending migrants out of state to Democratic-run cities in the North to protest the immigration policy. residence of the Biden administration. He also accused O’Rourke of seeking to cut police funding, saying in an ad that O’Rourke wanted to “sabotage and destroy the police.” That was in reference to O’Rourke’s comment in 2020, following the police killing of George Floyd, praising protesters for targeting “line items that have militarized our police.” O’Rourke has said he does not support cutting funding for police in Texas.
“Look, I don’t think Greg Abbott wakes up wanting to see kids getting shot in their schools or because the power grid is down, but he obviously can’t or doesn’t want to make the changes that need to be made. necessary to prioritize the lives of our fellow Texans. That’s why we all have to change at the ballot box,” O’Rourke said in his closing remarks.
In his closing, Abbott said, “I’m running for re-election to keep Texas #1 – to cut your property taxes, to secure the border, to keep dangerous criminals behind bars, and stop deadly dangerous people on our streets.”
The two also make clear distinctions over abortion rights, an issue that has become at the heart of the directorate race after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Abbott signed into law a limited measure. abortion except to save the life of the mother and certain health emergencies.
O’Rourke said he would seek to return Texas to the abortion protections that existed under Roe v. Wade.
“This election is about reproductive freedom. If you care about this, you need to come out and vote,” O’Rourke said. “I will fight to ensure that every woman in Texas can make decisions about her own body, her own future, and her own health care.”
Abbott said O’Rourke’s views on abortion were “most extreme”, arguing that O’Rourke supported the right to abortion until birth.
“No one thinks it’s in the state of Texas,” O’Rourke countered. “He says this because he signed the most extreme abortion ban in America: No exceptions to rape, no exceptions to incest, it starts at conception and it’s going on. takes place at the heart of a maternal mortality crisis, thanks to Greg Abbott – three times as many black women. ”
Abbott was asked if the emergency contraceptive pill was a viable alternative for victims of rape and incest.
“It’s on the state of Texas to make sure it’s available,” he said. “For those who are victims of sexual assault or survivors of sexual assault, the state of Texas will pay for it, whether it is in a hospital, at a clinic or someone receiving got a prescription for it.”
He also touted the state’s “alternative program for abortion,” including assisted living and infant supplies, to those victims.
Abbott has touted grid reform after a deep freeze, pointing to record high temperatures this summer.
“Time and time again, the grid has been able to keep up, and that’s thanks to the reforms we’ve been able to implement. The grid is more resilient…more than ever,” he said.
But O’Rourke said the blackout was “part of the pattern” of Abbott’s nearly eight years in office, and the governor had been warned of the possibility.
“The grid is still not fixed,” O’Rourke said, pointing to higher energy bills, Toyota stopped the third shift in San Antonio “because it consumed too much electricity,” and Texans realize Noticed conservation during the summer.
“All Beto does is panic about the problem, when in reality the grid is more resilient and more reliable than ever,” Abbott replied.