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HomeNewsAbbott and O’Rourke spar over migrant busing, guns and grid failure in...

Abbott and O’Rourke spar over migrant busing, guns and grid failure in Texas governor’s debate

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke clashed repeatedly Friday night time on points starting from immigration to weapons within the state’s lone gubernatorial debate earlier than Election Day.

The hour-long showdown on the College of Texas Rio Grande Valley was the primary time the 2 candidates had been in the identical room since Could, when O’Rourke confronted Abbott at a information convention a day after the lethal faculty capturing in Uvalde.

Abbott’s response to that capturing, and his general opposition to imposing restrictions on weapons, dominated a lot of the primary half of the televised debate, as did the governor’s extremely publicized program of busing migrants from Texas to Washington, D.C., and different Democratic-run cities.

O’Rourke argued that Abbott valued “stunts” over options and that his actions and phrases have led to violence just like the lethal 2019 capturing focusing on Latinos in El Paso.

“This hateful rhetoric, this treating human beings as political pawns, speaking about invasions and Texans defending themselves — that’s how folks get killed on the Walmart in El Paso,” O’Rourke stated. “That is extremely harmful for Texas and isn’t reflective of our values.”

Abbott accused O’Rourke of desirous to “perpetuate the open border insurance policies and mischaracterize precisely what’s happening,” whereas pledging that his migrant busing program — which has been mimicked by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — will proceed.

“There shall be different cities sooner or later that additionally shall be on the receiving finish of migrants, as a result of we’ll proceed to have to maneuver migrants, as a result of [President] Joe Biden continues to permit extra unlawful immigrants to return into the state of Texas,” Abbott stated.

Abbott is looking for a 3rd consecutive time period in a state dominated by Republicans. After some polls over the summer time discovered O’Rourke inside 5 share factors of Abbott, more moderen surveys have proven the governor with leads of seven to 11 factors.

On the fundraising entrance, O’Rourke turned heads by raking in more money than Abbott in the course of the three-month interval that ended on June 30, setting a Texas report.

O’Rourke, a former member of Congress, is looking for his third workplace in 4 years, following a detailed however unsuccessful Senate bid in 2018 and a short run for president after that.

Whereas urgent the 2 candidates on the problem of gun management, debate moderators on Friday performed a 2019 clip of O’Rourke vowing that “Hell sure, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47” if elected president. He has since softened his place.

“It’s clear to me that the one place that an AR-15 or an AK-47 is sensible is on a battlefield,” he stated Friday. “However as governor of the state of Texas, I must be targeted on what we will get performed.”

One step O’Rourke favors: elevating the authorized age from 18 to 21 for buying a firearm. Abbott has opposed these efforts, insisting that federal courts would deem any such legislation unconstitutional.

“We need to finish faculty shootings,” the governor stated. “However we can not try this by making false guarantees. … Any try to boost the age goes to be met with it being overturned.”

The remainder of the controversy targeted largely on the state’s 2021 grid failure, when tens of millions of residents misplaced energy for days in subfreezing temperatures. O’Rourke blamed Abbott for the disaster and better utility prices he stated have stemmed from it.

“And the kicker is, the grid continues to be not mounted,” O’Rourke stated.

Abbott accused O’Rourke of rooting for the grid to break down once more to attain political factors.

“I even assured the ability would keep on earlier than we confronted that winter afterwards, when Beto was campaigning saying that the grid was going to fail within the winter and summer time,” Abbott stated. “And his marketing campaign hopes fell aside as a result of the legal guidelines that I signed did safe the grid.”

The controversy additionally touched on abortion, a difficulty that Democrats imagine will enhance turnout in races throughout the nation this fall after the Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe v. Wade and the constitutional proper to the process.

Abbott branded O’Rourke as a supporter of “limitless abortion at taxpayer expense” — a characterization O’Rourke disputed by saying he would combat for a similar protections that had been in place earlier than the Roe reversal. For nearly 50 years, states couldn’t ban abortions earlier than fetal viability, or about 24 weeks right into a being pregnant.

“This election is about reproductive freedom,” O’Rourke stated. “If you happen to care about this, you should end up and vote. I’ll combat to guarantee that each lady in Texas could make her personal choices about her personal physique, her personal future and our personal well being care.”

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