On Sunday, Governor Greg Abbott appeared on the show “Fox News Sunday” with host Chris Wallace. The resulting interview was a blundering mess for the Texas governor, who is up for re-election next year.
Though Abbott teed up his Fox appearance as an opportunity to bash the Biden administration for an influx of Haitian refugees at the border, Abbott was grilled by Wallace on several other topics that caught him looking like a deer in the headlights. Wallace mentioned Abbott’s bizarre claim that the state of Texas was going to eliminate rape when he was asked about the new abortion law in Texas. The extreme anti-abortion bill that Abbott signed into law, Senate Bill 8, essentially bans abortions after six weeks and has no exceptions for rape or incest.
Wallace asked Abbott about how Texas would go about eliminating rape, noting that in 2019 there were over 15,000 reported rapes in the state. Abbott stammered through an answer about creating a sexual assault task force. Wallace further pressed Abbott about a victim of rape being forced to carry through a pregnancy under SB 8. He also brought up an amendment to SB 8 that was filed by Republican State Rep. Lyle Larson that would create an exception for rape or incest. Abbott held firm, saying, “that bill is not going to reach my desk.”
The interview with Abbott also took a rough detour for the governor when the Fox anchor brought up a 2020 election audit for four large counties in Texas. The notification of the audit from the Secretary of State’s office arrived the same day former president Donald Trump requested Abbott add an election audit to the special session. It’s not apparent who actually ordered the audit since Texas has been without a secretary of state since May.
Wallace brought up both that an audit would be a waste of taxpayer dollars and that this is further undermining an election which President Biden won. Abbott countered by talking about businesses doing audits all the time, and that the current audit of the Texas elections was “underway.” It is not clear what ongoing election audit the governor was referring to.
Abbott also used his time on Fox to endorse the widely criticized photos of border patrol agents using horse reigns against Haitian refugees in Del Rio. The governor announced that any agent who was reprimanded by the Biden administration could find a new job with the state of Texas.
This isn’t the first time Abbott has endured a wildly disastrous Fox News interview. Who could forget his appearance right after the first night of the winter storm as millions lost power and he blamed… the Green New Deal? That same Green New Deal which has never advanced beyond a Senate committee.
If Abbott continues to struggle on friendly terrain like Fox News, it’s no wonder he’s allegedly turned down appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show.
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call