For a guy who’s supposed to be The Chosen One to succeed Rick Perry, Greg Abbott’s formal campaign launch has been remarkably substance-free.
With his wife and daughter standing near, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott kicked off his campaign for governor Sunday in San Antonio’s sun-drenched La Villita plaza, where he promised to fight for a Texas of “boundless opportunity and limitless imagination.”
At this first stop on a whirlwind tour of 10 cities over the next five days, Abbott hit the highlights of his political career. He touted his defense of religious displays in public areas, his prosecution of child predators, his opposition to abortion and his history of fighting “overreaching” government in the courtroom.
“When it comes to our freedom and our future, I will never, I will never, stop fighting,” Abbott declared. “That’s why I’m asking you — the people of Texas — to elect me as your next governor.”
Abbott, 55, strayed away from policy specifics, sticking instead to broad rhetorical strokes and weaving elements of his biography into his conservative vision for state government.
“The future of Texas demands better education, safer communities and smarter government,” Abbott said. “The children of Texas deserve it, and we will deliver it.”
“Government is supposed to be on your side — not riding your backs,” Abbott said.
Abbott also proposed reining in state debt by “reducing the amount the state can borrow.”
“Together, we can prioritize that we need the most,” he said. “Our water supplies are going too low. You know by traveling the highway that our traffic congestion is getting too thick, and our schools must do better. We can solve those problems not by raising taxes, but by right-sizing government and putting real limits on spending in Austin, Texas.”
Abbott also promised to make “skyrocketing tuition a thing of the past” and said he would usher in “a new era of education reform.”
“We already have a 21st-century economy,” he said. “Now we need a 21st-century education system.” With little meat in the policy proposals, though, it was hard to say whether Abbott would represent Perry 2.0 or more of a clean break.
It’s not just mushy, it’s basically incoherent. We’re gonna improve our schools, build more roads, and enhance our water infrastructure, all by cutting taxes and reducing spending. Does he actually believe that stuff, or does he just think that Republican primary voters believe it? Hell, even the Legislature doesn’t believe that. Was he even paying attention to this legislative session?
After the opening event, Abbott took his show on the road where he avoided talking about Rick Perry, emphasized the fact that he married a lady whose mother was Mexican, which thus means he understands “diversity”, and tried to muddle his stance on abortion, not that anyone with two brain cells to rub together ought to be fooled, and tried to claim that he has empathy for the common folk, if you don’t count the six million or so people that he’s worked so hard to ensure remain without health insurance. In short, a whole lot of nothing.
Look, I realize it’s early days and no one is paying attention to details right now. But even as big picture visions go, this is laughably sparse. At the very least, as the Trib story notes, is he going to be four more years of Rick Perry, or does he intend to be something different? If it’s the latter, in what way does he intend to be different? I realize that talking about all of the things Rick Perry does that Greg Abbott would undo or do differently might be a bit awkward and might possibly hurt Perry’s feelings, but no one ever said being Governor would be easy. I figure Tom Pauken has to be looking at this and saying to himself “oh, please debate me, please please please debate me”. I hope any Democrat that might be thinking about running for Governor is thinking the same thing.