As the race for Texas governor heats up, GOP incumbent Greg Abbott has taken political risks. Some may have earned him points among the business-minded, like when he suggested creating a town called “Twitter, Texas,” to help entice Elon Musk to move the platform’s headquarters here.
Still, critics have slammed an April order by Abbott, billed as an effort to root out drug and human smuggling, for state authorities to inspect all commercial trucks coming from Mexico. No contraband was found during any of the more than 4,100 inspections carried out, but the move did result in spoiled produce and lost business.
On Sunday, O’Rourke pounced after news surfaced that Abbott's order had apparently further backfired. The Mexican government announced that following the ramped-up border inspections, it had decided to alter plans for a trade rail link worth billions in Texas, instead opting for New Mexico.
“We’re now not going to use Texas,” Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “We can’t leave all the eggs in one basket and be hostages to someone who wants to use trade as a political tool.”
O’Rourke then took to Twitter to condemn his opponent’s border policies.
“Anyone else tired of paying the price for Abbott’s incompetence?” the El Paso Democrat wrote on Sunday night.
The following day, O’Rourke unleashed another tweet-attack, this time with an accompanying campaign video. The way O’Rourke sees it, businesses and jobs have been jeopardized by his Republican opponent, and billions of dollars have been wasted. He framed it as the cost of keeping Abbott in the governor’s mansion.
Anyone else tired of paying the price for Abbott’s incompetence? https://t.co/tKIbxHRlqa— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 2, 2022
At the end of the video, black text appears on a white background: “We need a governor who will prioritize Texas’s economy over costly stunts,” it reads.
So far, Abbott hasn’t directly responded to his challenger’s internet taunting. It’s business as usual for the governor, who on Monday posted about the power of supplication to honor the National Day of Prayer.
Jobs, businesses, and billions of dollars all lost thanks to Greg Abbott.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 2, 2022
Help share this very real cost of having him in office ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/gAZAv7EZay
Abbott has overseen a good deal of economic growth in the Lone Star State during his time in the governor's seat. Over the weekend, he posted an interview with Newsmax touting Texas’ continued population increase, noting that over the last quarter, the state boasted the fastest-growing economy in the U.S.
Abbott said Texas consistently ranks as the best state for doing business. Since he’s been governor, it’s also witnessed the most expanded corporate facilities in the country.
“Bottom line is everybody who does business or operates in the United States, they know Texas well,” Abbott continued, “and they are choosing to come to Texas and expand in Texas and grow in Texas more than any other state in America.”
Texas is an economic juggernaut!— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 30, 2022
We’ve been ranked THE best state for doing business 18 years in a row.
That’s why companies choose Texas to expand & grow more than any other state in America. pic.twitter.com/48UoiH4G6p