Election

Roundup: The Top Five Most Ridiculous Things Texas Politicians Said in 2021

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert tops this year's list.
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert tops this year's list. Chip Somodevilla / Getty
Texas politicians have a way with words. Over the years, former Texas Gov.-turned-President George W. Bush impressed the world with his expert-level locution. But the Lone Star State has produced several other lawmakers who could double as linguists.

Admittedly, it was tough to pin down the top five times a Texas legislator came down with a serious case of foot-in-mouth syndrome. It also took some restraint to only include certain politicians once (lookin’ at you, Gohmert and Cruz).

Still, we did our very best to produce only the crème-of-the-crop quotes for you, dear readers. Here are the top five stupidest things that Texas politicians said this year.

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert Ponders Whether Changing Earth’s Orbit Could Cure Climate Change

File this one under “big if true.”

During a hearing this summer, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert tried his best to solve the climate crisis by brainstorming some out-of-the-box ideas. Experts say cutting back on meat and transitioning to renewable energy could help do the trick, but the East Texas Republican offered another suggestion: moving the planet altogether.

“Is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM [Bureau of Land Management] can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?” Gohmert — who once forewarned of the consequences of sending gay astronauts to space — asked an expert. “Obviously, that would have profound effects on our climate.”

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz Thinks Big Bird Is ‘The Media’

A true man of the people, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t afraid to warn constituents of government propaganda. After Big Bird from Sesame Street took to Twitter to promote the COVID-19 vaccine, the Texas Republican attempted to clip the fictional character’s wings.

In a November tweet, Cruz slammed Big Bird’s pro-vaccine stance and accused him of being part of the media: “We always knew the media were the Dems’ puppets, but this is getting ridiculous,” the Republican wrote.
Gov. Greg Abbott Claims South Africans Are Illegally Crossing Texas-Mexico Border

Maybe this apparent geography blunder will inspire Gov. Greg Abbott to beef up public school funding.

Late last month, the U.S. rolled out travel restrictions after a new coronavirus variant was reported in South Africa. Next, Abbott blasted President Joe Biden’s response to the border crisis, but he seemed to mix up South America with South Africa in the process.

“Immigrants have recently been apprehended crossing our border illegally from South Africa,” Abbott said in a tweet. “Biden is doing nothing to stop immigrants from South Africa entering illegally. Pure politics and hypocrisy.”

Democratic Lt. Gov. Candidate Matthew Dowd, As ‘White Male Christian,’ Steps Down to Make Room for Diverse Candidates

Earlier this month, former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd appeared to aggravate liberals and conservatives alike when he announced he was no longer gunning for lieutenant governor.

Critics accused the Democrat of implying that the only way women and minority candidates can win is if a white male contender isn’t also in the race.

“When I first announced, the only other candidate was a white male Christian,” Dowd’s controversial statement read. “A diverse field is now emerging in the Democratic primary for this office. I do not want to be the one who stands in the way of the greater diversity we need in politics.”

Republican Lt. Gov. Candidate Daniel Miller Says Texans Are Sick of ‘Electile Dysfunction’


In October, Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller announced that he’s running for lieutenant governor. During an interview with the Observer, the pro-secessionist candidate summed up voters’ displeasure with politicians who don’t follow through with campaign promises: “We refer to it as ‘electile dysfunction,’” he said. (We hear there's a little blue pill for that.)
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter