Texas Governor Talks Border, COVID Recovery, and Energy Independence On ‘Real America’ Podcast

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Photo: Bob Price/Breitbart Texas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott joined Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on the second episode of the new podcast “Real America.” The governor discusses the current border crisis, Texas’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, energy independence, and the Republican-shifting Lone Star Hispanic vote.

RNC Chair McDaniel welcomed Governor Abbott to the second episode of her new podcast, “Real America,” on Wednesday morning.

“I am so inspired by governors like Governor Abbott who, on the onset of COVID, made key decisions that prioritized freedom and combating the virus,” McDaniel told Breitbart News. “That’s why I’m doing this podcast, to raise awareness about the success of Republican leaders, like Governor Abbott, who are fighting for secure borders, open economies, and the American dream.”

“America is at a crossroads,” Governor Abbott told “Real America” … “There is the America that has been the land of opportunity, and there’s a large group of people out there who are driving socialistic policies, and if we don’t coalesce around the values and principles that have made America the greatest country in the history of the world, we will lose it.”

Abbott told McDaniel that more people are moving to the Lone Star State since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic than ever before.

“The floodgates are open with people moving into Texas and they’re coming here for easily identifiable reasons,” the governor explained. “People talk about taxes and regulations and things like that, all of which are true … The real reason they’re coming here is because of the freedom that exists in Texas that they don’t see or find in these other states that they are coming from.”

He said that whether he talks to high-profile figures like Elon Musk, Joe Rogan, or Charles Schwab, or other business leaders who chose to move their companies to Texas — they all demand that we “keep Texas, Texas.”

“I hear from these people directly that they want Texas to remain Texas and they get actively involved in voting and supporting and getting involved in politics in ways that will keep Texas, Texas,” Abbott said. “They like the value sets that Texas represents. They don’t like these values that are really socialistic values that you see in places like California and just chaotic values that you see in places like New York, etc.. And so the people who are moving here actually help the political base in the state of Texas.”

Abbott told McDaniel that the value of freedom and balance shaped his approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas. “We had to listen to the experts that turned out maybe not to be so expert in this,” he explained. “And we all began to develop more and more information about what this disease was and the way to respond to it.”

“And we learned over time that some of these mandates that were imposed really weren’t working the way that we were told they were going to be working,” Abbott continued. “On March the 10th, we opened up 100 percent. Any business anywhere of any type can open up 100 percent. And we eliminated the mask mandate.”

Abbott faced sharp criticism from the legacy media and even from President Joe Biden to went as far as calling Abbott’s decisions, “Neanderthal thinking,” Breitbart News reported at the time.

“They all said this was going to be cataclysmic, that Texas was going to skyrocket in COVID cases, and it was going to be nothing but mayhem and death all the way,” the Texas governor stated. “And it turned out, that since we opened up 100 percent, the number of hospitalizations has been cut in half, the number of COVID cases has been cut in half, the number of deaths has been cut in half.”

McDaniel shifted the topic to the border crisis and the Biden-Harris Administration’s actions that are directly impacting Texans who live and work along the border. So far this fiscal year, two-thirds of the record-setting number of migrants apprehended enter the U.S. through the five Texas-based Border Patrol sectors, Breitbart reported.

“We are dealing with the largest border crisis that we’ve seen this century,” Abbott said. “And to this day, the president, President Biden, has not reached out to talk to me about it at all. The former President, President Trump, talked to us about it all the time, but also not just talk about it. President Trump stepped up and did something about it.”

“Not only has he not called, but neither he nor Kamala have been there,” he stated. “And so they’re absentee landlords.”

Abbott said Biden has done nothing but made the border worse with his “open border policies.” He blamed Biden for reversing the successful policies put in place by President Trump that reduced migrant apprehensions by up to 95 percent.

“I need to explain to America what has taken place,” the governor continued. “There are so many people flooding across the border right now that the Border Patrol, they are fully occupied, just processing all the people who come across the border.”

He said the cartels use this as an opportunity to move drugs and what Abbott called, “high-value people, such as terrorists, such as criminals that they can make a lot of money off of by getting across the border.”

In response to the border crisis, Abbott launched Operation Lone Star earlier this year. “We have almost 2,000 personnel. Could be either Department of Public Safety Officers or National Guard on our border,” he explained. “We are securing the gaps in the border. We, the State of Texas, are making arrests of criminals. And we’ve made more than 25,000 apprehensions of people who’ve come across the border illegally.”

“And so our mantra in Texas is ‘Texas is going to secure the border and we’re going to make Biden pay for it,'” he said. 

Abbott told McDaniel about the abuses of migrant children and women. He said many of the migrants die or are violently and sexually assaulted during the smuggling process. 

Abbott said he wrote President Biden about these abuses and said, “You need to come address the human trafficking challenge that we’re facing. You need to help us crack down on these human traffickers who are preying upon these young children who are profiting off of these young children. Haven’t heard a peep of a response.”

Abbott pledged that Texas will build its own border wall and make “mass arrests” of migrants who violate Texas laws. To that end, the State dedicated $250 million as a down payment on building that wall. 

Abbott said that the crisis along the border is helping shift traditionally Democrat-voting Hispanics to vote Republican. “Listen, it’s not like Hispanics care less about public safety than anybody else,” the governor continued. “And Trump stood up for their public safety. I stand up for their public safety, to make their communities safe. So we want to secure the border, which Hispanics on the border want to see done.”

Abbott said Texas Republicans are earning more of the state’s Hispanic vote by building relationships.

“You can’t show up on a week before the election and say a couple of words in Spanish and think that they’re going to vote for you,” he explained. “You have to build a relationship. And that’s one thing that President Trump did, it’s one thing that I did. I hold the record for any governor in the state of Texas making the most trips to the Rio Grande Valley as governor than anybody else.”

McDaniel asked Abbott about Texas’s role in energy independence and the Biden decision to stop the Keystone pipeline.

“It is bad for Texas, it’s bad for America, but it’s worse for the average family, for the average worker in the state of Texas,” Abbott responded. “There are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state of Texas alone that are connected to the oil and gas industry. High-paying jobs that put food on the table, that help people buy houses.”

“But more than that, the money that they generate, it pays for schools, it pays for roads,” the governor continued. “But even maybe more than that, it made America energy independent so that we didn’t have to depend upon Saudi Arabia or the Middle East for our energy sources.”

Abbott said Biden’s energy policies and the left’s Green New Deal are also helping Texas Republicans gain the vote of Hispanics.

“The Green New Deal is very helpful to Republicans politically, and I’ll give you one prime example that we saw with President Trump,” he said. “In south Texas on the border-related counties, they have always voted very strongly Democratic.

“There are a lot of energy jobs down there and much to the surprise of everybody, candidly, even some people in Texas, Trump so incredibly outperformed his past and any other Republican Presidential’s past electoral experience in south Texas,” Abbott continued. “These south Texas border counties, some of them voted for Trump, a Republican candidate for president, for the very first time and others, Trump got 10 to 20 percent more this election than he did the last election.”

“We asked people in south Texas why they were casting their votes that way,” he said. “It was two reasons. One, because of Trump’s position on border policies, but the other is Trump’s position on the Green New Deal being against the Green New Deal. They were afraid of losing their jobs, losing their paycheck because if Biden was elected, they will be losing their paycheck. And that turns out to be true.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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