The Best of Abbott: ‘Get a rope,’ ‘defend Texas,’ ‘liberals aren’t welcome’

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With the holidays upon us, and the end of 2019 approaching, it’s a good time to look at whether the Texas governor has been naughty or nice this year.  

1. “Get a rope.”

“Get a rope”– a reference to a 1990s hot sauce commercial, has become the favorite phrase of Texas conservatives. Abbott recently deployed it in response to a tweet complaining about a local Whataburger running out of Dr. Pepper.

Harmless enough in that context? Maybe, but given Texas’ dark history with lynching during the Jim Crow era (and afterward too), it’s almost always in poor taste, especially as it relates to politics in the state.

2. Liberals aren’t welcome in Texas

Ignoring the 3.5 million Texans who voted for his Democratic opponent, Abbott suggested in August liberals were not welcomed in the Lone Star State.

“You’re welcome in Texas as long as you never forget why you fled a liberal state,” he declared on Twitter. “Texans expect less government, lower taxes & more freedom. Newcomers must keep it that way.”

3. “We’ll need to take matters into our own hands.”

“If we’re going to DEFEND Texas, we’ll need to take matters into our own hands,” wrote Gov. Greg Abbott in an anti-immigrant fundraising letter first published by the Signal. The letter was sent out the day before the El Paso mass shooting. The governor was forced to apologize.

4. Undocumented immigrants don’t deserve public education

In August, a fervent Trump supporter took to Twitter to contact Abbott with a complaint. 

“I teach illegals all day long in public schools, where are the American citizens I should be teaching,” asked the Twitter user. “Why are my tax dollars paying for illegals to be educated?”

Abbott retweeted the account and then told Texans to Google Plyler v. Doe, a 1982 Supreme Court case that, Abbot lamented, ruled against denying education funding to undocumented immigrant children because doing so violated the fourteenth amendment.

Photo: Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Image

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