AUSTIN — The Lincoln Project, founded by former Republicans who opposed then-President Donald Trump, released a 60-second ad Tuesday morning targeting Greg Abbott, saying the two-term Republican governor has been in politics way too long.
It shows a montage of events that have come and gone since Abbott was first elected to a seat on the Texas Supreme Court in the 1990s, when baseball great Roger Clemens was dominating as a major league pitcher and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was still in elementary school.
“The world has changed,” says narrator Peter Coyote. “But Greg Abbott hasn’t.” The spot, called “Retire,” makes no mention of Democrat Beto O’Rourke, Abbott’s opponent in the Nov. 8 election.
Reed Galen, a co-founder of the Lincoln Project and a former campaign aide to George W. Bush in the 2000 and 2004 presidential races, said in an interview that Abbott “has gone full-on MAGA,” short for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan from his 2016 race.
“He doesn’t need a third term,” Galen said. “A third term isn’t going to be better for Texas.”
Galen said the spot, which is posted on YouTube, will be targeted toward the state’s largest media markets. Even though O’Rourke is not named in the ad, it echoes many of the themes the Democrat has used in his effort to chip away at Abbott.
The ad notes the statewide electric grid failure during the February 2021 winter storm, as well as Abbott’s support for expanding gun rights even after several deadly mass shootings in Texas and for signing legislation to further restrict abortion rights.
The Abbott campaign did not comment on the piece, but in recent days has hit O’Rourke for his opposition to oil drilling on federal land and other environmental policies the governor has said will drive gasoline prices even higher.
“With record gas prices sweeping Texas, the anti-energy policies promoted by extreme liberal Beto O’Rourke would only make the pain at the pump even worse,” Abbott spokesman Mark Miner said in a campaign email.
John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.
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