In a letter addressed to Republican primary candidate for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Texas Democrats are asking the AG to quit with the divisive rhetoric, especially when it comes to the Texas-Mexico border. The call comes after a string of controversial comments, including a remark that likened corrupt practices in South Texas to the "third world
,"— a move that landed him in hot water
with a Rio Grande Valley newspaper. The paper's editorial board demanded an apology from Abbott, describing his words as more evidence of mounting xenophobia leveraged for votes. While the paper didn't deny corruption in the RGV, it did cast doubt that Abbot would have made a similar comparison to third-world countries if he was talking about Houston or Dallas.
Texas Dems tell Abbott to calm down with the heated rhetoric. Photo by Mary Tuma
"When you compare a region that is key to the success of the Texas economy to the “third-world”, it kills our ability to attract jobs and conduct business. These comments are baseless and ignore the people of the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, El Paso and the entire border region," reads the letter, signed by 16 Texas senators and representatives, including San Antonio state Senators Leticia van de Putte and Carlos Uresti as well as Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez.
The letter takes aim at not only Abbott but at the Republican Party in Texas and its most controversial candidates for making a number of "disparaging remarks." They point to lieutenant candidates for governor Sen. Dan Patrick’s calls to “stop the invasion” and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson’s vow to rescind birthright citizenship and ballots in both English and Spanish, in order to, "forcefully assimilate immigrants."
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa responded, too, saying, “Elected officials from the Texas-Mexico border and allies from across the state are making their voice loud and clear: Republicans should stick to the facts and stop their toxic rhetoric that has been directed towards the people of the border."
"When Greg Abbott and his cronies degrade our state, it hinders our ability to attract jobs and do business. This Republican prose about the Texas-Mexico border is bad politics, bad for business, bad for families and bad for Texas," he said in a statement.
Read the full letter here:
Democrats Call on Greg Abbott (1)