Abbott: Texas companies ‘need to stay out of politics’
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Tuesday said that companies in the state “need to stay out of politics” amid corporate backlash over GOP attempts to pass election reforms.
Abbott made the comments during a Fox News interview as he was discussing his decision to not throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers home opener on Monday in response to Major League Baseball moving the All Star Game and Draft out of Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s newly-enacted voting law.
Texas in recent days has faced similar backlash from companies — including American Airlines, and Dell Technologies — over an election reforms bill that the state’s Senate passed last Thursday.
Abbott accused companies who have come out against it of not knowing what’s in the bill.
“I’m sending a message to these Texas-based companies that have made the very same mistake with regard to Texas laws,” Abbott said. “We have American Airlines, we have AT&T, we have Dell Computers and others who have taken a position against the election law reforms that we made in the state of Texas where the CEOs of these companies and the leaders of these companies admitted that they had no idea what the Texas law said or what the Texas proposed law says before taking a position against it.”
“They need to stay out of politics, especially when they have no clue what they’re talking about,” Abbott said.
Texas’s legislation in parts limits extended early-voting hours, bans drive-thru voting, and prohibits local election officials from sending vote-by-mail applications to voters. The law also gives more power to poll watchers and requires a doctor’s note for Texans with disabilities who are asking to vote by mail.
American Airlines said on Thursday that it was “strongly opposed to this bill and others like it.”
“Any legislation dealing with how elections are conducted must ensure ballot integrity and security while making it easier to vote, not harder. At American, we believe we should break down barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion in our society — not create them,” it continued.
Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell Technologies, also criticized the law, saying on Twitter “Free, fair, equitable access to voting is the foundation of American democracy.”
“Governments should ensure citizens have their voices heard. HB6 does the opposite, and we are opposed to it,” he said.
Agree. Free, fair, equitable access to voting is the foundation of American democracy. Those rights – especially for women, communities of color – have been hard-earned. Governments should ensure citizens have their voices heard. HB6 does the opposite, and we are opposed to it. https://t.co/srLRfGxgZF
— Michael Dell (@MichaelDell) April 1, 2021
GOP lawmakers across the country have ramped up election overhaul efforts on the premise that the 2020 election was riddled with widespread voter fraud, a claim that has been repeatedly debunked.