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Texas Republican officials at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday urged attendees to prepare for a ‘red wave’ in the upcoming midterm elections in November, criticizing federal immigration policy and inflation while boasting of Texas’ economic successes.
US Senator Ted Cruz stood Friday in a beige blazer and blue button-up shirt in front of the Dallas Convention Center crowd and directed his anger at President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the leader of Senate Majority Chuck Schumer, LGBTQ communities, and “communist woke professors.”
“My name is Ted Cruz, and my pronouns are kiss my ass,” Cruz shouted to the conservative crowd. “Every day I represent 30 million Texans, and my job is like the old Roman Colosseum where you slam on a breastplate, and you grab a battle axe, and you go fight the barbarians.”
But as Republicans used the conference to rally their base, they faced heavy criticism from Democrats for sharing the stage with Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister facing backlash for racist comments.
Orbán, who spoke at the convention on Thursday, said in a speech last week that Europeans “do not want to become mestizo peoples.” The Prime Minister’s remarks immediately triggered outrage and unease of his critics and confidants, according to the Washington Post, and led to the resignation of one of Orbán’s longtime advisers.
Texas Democrats condemned the GOP for openly welcoming a world leader with a polarizing international reputation. Orbán has previously said Muslims threaten Europe’s Christian identity, advocated for a high-tech border fence to reduce immigration from the Middle East and Africa, supported banning content on the LGBTQ theme in schools and opposed the ability of same-sex couples to adopt children.
Gilberto Hinojosa, the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, called state officials attending the four-day event a “pity”.
“With all the pressing issues facing Texas – including rural schools facing desperate staffing shortages, rising gun violence due to unpopular lax laws instituted by Republicans, a power grid back on the collapsing point, a lack of affordable health care, and women being forced to carry pregnancies,” Hinojosa said in a written statement, “Our state’s Republican leaders would choose to spend their time warmly welcoming the fringe la most marginal of the far-right figures of the country and the world in our great state.
During his speech on the opening day of the convention, Orbán was warmly greeted by the crowd and told them he was an “old-fashioned freedom fighter”. The upcoming elections in America and Europe, he told the audience, would define the “two fronts in the battle for Western civilization.”
“This war is a culture war,” the prime minister said. “We must revitalize our churches, our families, our universities and our community institutions.
The lineup for the event includes a slew of Texas GOP officials, including Cruz, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Rep. Mayra Flores. Other guests include U.S. Representatives Brian Babin, Michael Burgess, Ronny Jackson, Beth Van Duyne, Randy Weber and Roger Williams. Former President Donald Trump is expected to deliver the commencement address on Saturday as he remains under public and congressional scrutiny for his baseless comments about voter fraud before the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising.
The Dallas conference comes as both sides step up efforts to mobilize their bases ahead of November’s midterm elections. Texans will elect a slew of new congressmen, lawmakers and state officials in the first major election after the US Supreme Court struck down the Constitutional right to abortion, several mass shootings including the Robb Elementary massacre in Uvalde that left 19 students and two teachers dead and state GOP efforts to limit teaching about race and sexuality in classrooms. Midterms will also be the first under new political maps that Republicans have redrawn to favor their party.
Abbott helped open the conference Thursday afternoon, taking swipes at Democrats across the country, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Newsom recently ran newspaper ads in Texas that criticized GOP leaders for their gun and abortion policies.
“He’s just pissed that all of his businesses are moving to Texas,” Abbott said.
The Texas governor also bragged about his initiative to provide bus rides for migrants from the Mexican border to Washington, D.C. The city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, said his city was overwhelmed with migrants.
“I have one thing to tell you and them: there are more buses on the way as we gather at this convention,” Abbott said.
Abbott announced Friday that it is expanding the program to New York.
Later Thursday afternoon, the convention heard from Patrick, who kicked off his speech by reiterating that he’s “all in” if Trump runs for president again in 2024. If Trump decides not to, a added Patrick, the Republican candidate “better take the MAGA because no one in the White House, in the history of this country, has done so much in four years.”
Patrick also used his speech to appeal to GOP unity in Texas now that the primaries are over. He said state Republicans needed to come together “because make no mistake: This election in November is not going to be an easy election.”
Flores, who won the special election for Texas’ 34th congressional district in June, told a panel on Friday that Texas’ immigration system needs to be fixed “so the right people can come here to the states.” -United”.
Others expected to attend the conference include Republican U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who reiterated Trump’s baseless claims about voter fraud; and Steve Bannon, who was recently found guilty in a contempt of Congress trial for failing to provide documents or testimony to a House committee investigating the Capitol riot.
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