Abbott challenger accuses Texas governor of being Republican in name only
Former state Sen. Don Huffines (R), who is waging a bid against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for the party’s gubernatorial nomination, took on the sitting governor on Sunday, calling him a Republican in name only, commonly referred to as “RINO.”
“We don’t have a Donald Trump as governor, we don’t have a Ron DeSantis as governor, we don’t have a William B. Travis as governor. Unfortunately we’ve got a career politician that’s a political windsock, a RINO,” Huffines said of Abbott, at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), according to Newsweek.
Huffines, who represented a Dallas-based state Senate district for four years until 2019, launched a primary bid against Abbott in May.
At CPAC, Huffines critiqued Abbott for his handling of the surge in border crossings, asking the crowd “why isn’t the border secure?” after years of leadership under Abbott.
“Greg Abbott’s been governor for six years. He could have secured the border six years ago or six months ago,” Abbott said.
Huffines also zeroed in on Abbott’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, attacking him for his decision to impose restrictions on the state’s economy.
“He put 3 million Texans on unemployment and dependent on the government in one day. He closed our churches on the holiest week of the year, Easter,” Huffines said.
“Under my administration Texas will never go blue,” he continued.
The former state senator also took on the sitting governor in response to issues with the state’s power grid during a storm in February, calling the incident “another embarrassment of failed leadership.”
“Earlier this year, we were within four minutes of our electrical grid having a complete meltdown and sending us all into the Stone Age,” Huffines said, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“Texas is the energy capital of the world. It’s another embarrassment of failed leadership … they can’t even keep the lights on,” he added.
Huffines also noted that Abbott was not in attendance at the conference, telling the audience “Why isn’t he here… he’s not here because he doesn’t want to face you.”
Abbott, however, is not attending the conference because he set 11 agenda items for lawmakers to work on during a special session that began on Thursday, according to the Dallas Morning News.