Damage Control Bid Backfires as Gov
Falls for Tucker Carlson Sucker Punch
December 22, 2022
Governor Greg Abbott sought to set the record straight during an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News on Wednesday after being portrayed just two days earlier on the show as a colossal failure on the issue of border security. The governor apparently failed to anticipate that an invitation from Carlson to appear on the show for the sake of defending himself would be a trap with Abbott's honor and ego as bait.
Abbott demonstrated considerable nerve by agreeing to face an accuser before a national audience in a setting where Carlson would have total control. But the appearance did not go well from a damage control perspective - partly because it gave Carlson the perfect opportunity to rehash the initial criticism that he had no plans to take back.
Abbott was poorly prepared and offered a meek defense that revolved on statistics quibbling - with the governor taking issue with a statement that Texas had 19,000 National Guard members "at its disposal" but only half that amount at the Rio Grande. The governor said that he'd deployed 10,000 troops to the border at times.
But Abbott set himself for a new line of needling when he gloated about Texas having more of its National Guard members stationed in other parts of the world than any other state.
"Were you boasting about that - or do you see that as perverse - that they would be helping other countries while not present to defend our own?" Carlson asked.
Abbott countered with an awkward explanation about Guard members retiring and the state offering incentives to try to keep them around. Abbott lost the audience when he stumbled into a description of an "onboarding" process for Guard recruiting and retention Carlson appeared bored and unimpressed with the rambling when he cut to the chase of his fundamental charge of Texas being all talk and no action on border security.
But Carlson came up with an idea on how Abbott could redeem himself by simply shutting down the border once and for all. "Why not just say I'm the governor of Texas?.We're the greatest state in America," Carlson asked.
"People would send you money if you started up a voluntary fund," Carlson said. "Send Greg Abbott money. People would put you in their wills. I mean, you'd probably be president of the United States if you did that. I'm serious. If you took control and closed the border, which you can do, you would be a folk hero sung about by future generations around the campfire."
To be fair to the governor, the state has no authority to close the border despite attempts by the Texas Military Department to deceive the public with statements to the media in El Paso on the National Guard turning back migrants at the Rio Grande. .
more to come ...