by BRAD ROLLINS
Campaigning in San Marcos on Saturday, Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott fired up the Republican-leaning crowd with a stemwinder about growing the economy, improving public education and — of course — suing the federal government over everything from Obamacare to the wording of the pledge of allegiance.
Greeted by a crowd of about 100 in the Old Hays County Courthouse rotunda, Abbott had been scheduled to attend Texas State University’s football game with members of the Texas State College Republicans. He ended up substituting a speaking engagement in Yoakum for the game, but hung around after his speech here to snap pictures with admirers and sign autographs.
The Mercury chatted briefly with the Republican front-runner about polls showing State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) within 8 percentage points in a hypothetical matchup — presumably way too close for comfort in Abbott’s camp for a state where no Democrat has won statewide office since 1994. Abbott said he has the issues on his side.
“I know the values that I stand for, which are traditional Texas values, is where an overwhelming majority of Texas stands. So I happen to know I’m fighting for the things that a majority of Texas agrees with,” Abbott said.
The candidate brushed aside criticism from his long-shot opponent for the GOP nomination, former party chair and Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken, who earlier in the week said Abbott risked blowing his chance at the governor’s mansion if he played it too safe against Davis’ star power and energized supporters.
Abbott said he is the “proven conservative” in the race who, as attorney general, has been scraping daily with the feds to maintain a balance of power between the federal and state governments. Said Abbott, ”I’m proud to stand on my record.”
Here is the transcript of the interview:
San Marcos Mercury: Is Wendy Davis a figment of the medias’ imagination or is she going to be a contender?
Abbott: We focus on things like this where we go out and let people know what I stand for. I’m going to be creating more jobs in the state of Texas. Working to keep preventing the federal government from taking over too much of our lives. Working to provide a better education system. If I do that, everything else will take care of itself.
Mercury: Are you unnerved any by polls that show her closer than any Democratic nominee has been in a long time?
Abbott: I know the values that I stand for, which are traditional Texas values, is where an overwhelming majority of Texas stands. So I happen to know I’m fighting for the things that a majority of Texas agrees with.
Mercury: What is your response to your primary opponent, Tom Pauken’s, criticism that you’re being too vague and general — trying to avoid specifics going into the primary?
Abbott: I’ve been real specific about where I stand on all the issues. There is no more proven conservative in this race — in Texas — than myself. I’ve been the one in there day in and day out waging these fights against the federal government, working to elevate Texas, make Texas a better place. So I’m proud to stand on my record.Email | Print