Abbott Comes to Pecan Lodge, Praises Irving Clock Kid, Texas Exceptionalism

Governor Greg Abbott speaks to the Republican throng at Pecan Lodge Thursday.
Governor Greg Abbott speaks to the Republican throng at Pecan Lodge Thursday.
State of Texas

Dallas barbecue institutions, apparently, are not safe from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, even when they're located in Deep Ellum, one of the most liberal parts of one of Texas' most Democratic cities.

“Texas is what America is supposed to be,” Abbott said in front of a packed house. “America needs Texas more than ever.” 

Abbott touted his record during his first eight months as governor, praising the Texas Legislature for slashing $3.8 billion in property and business taxes during its spring session and talking up the state of the job market in Texas despite plummeting oil prices. He thanked Dallas Republicans for helping him on his way to defeating Wendy Davis and the Democratic group Battleground Texas last November.

Abbott, in town as part of what he's calling his grassroots tour, also took on the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, the kid picked up by Irving police after he brought a homemade clock to school. Abbott said Mohamed should not have been arrested, according to reports from the event.

“The last thing we want to do is put handcuffs on a kid unjustifiably. Just call this a tragic situation. It looks like the commitment to law enforcement may have gone too far and didn’t balance all the facts," Abbott said. "One of the most important things that law enforcement and school officials can do is to ensure the safety and security of students in the classroom. At the same time we want to create an environment where children feel they can go learn.”

Abbott did not mention many of the other accomplishments of his first term thus far. He didn't talk about his failure to accept federal money to expand Medicaid — something that demonstrators protested outside of the restaurant — which has led to Texas having both the highest rate and greatest number  of uninsured residents of any state. He didn't mention the investigation he and his attorney general, Ken Paxton, have orchestrated against Planned Parenthood — the one that's based on a bunch of substantially manipulated videos and hasn't led to anything. Nor did Abbott mention the bills he vetoed that would have helped save the lives of Texans suffering from mental illness or drug addiction

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