Why Hasn't Greg Abbott Denounced Cliven Bundy Yet?

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To their credit, many Republicans who initially supported Cliven Bundy's heavily armed refusal to allow the federal government to enforce federal law on federal lands backed away from the mini-militia man after he went on a truly horrendous racist rant.

Not Greg Abbott. He was asked about Cliven Bundy by Sean Hannity and chose to stay silent rather than condemn his remarks.

Abbott initially sent supportive tweets about the Bundy stand-off on federal lands, and equated the situation to Benghazi. (Nope, I'm not kidding.)

Below the jump, read the tweets and listen to Abbott's silence as he refuses to refute Bundy while appearing on Sean Hannity's radio show.

 Abbott initially sent two tweets in support of Bundy. One is shown at right. In the other, he stated that “We should've used same effort to get Americans out of Benghazi as we do getting ranchers out of Nev.”

After Bundy's racist remarks about African Americans being better off under slavery, Abbott took to the airwaves and explicitly passed on the opportunity to condemn Bundy's remarks.

Here's the transcript:

Hannity: Now people are going to say 'See? Now all these Republicans are racist. No, we find his comments repugnant. But, I found the reaction of the government over reaching, by a long shot.



Abbott:
Well, there are three fundamental principles here. One, the United States of America was built upon certain fundamental ideas. One is law, and two is private property rights. Second, we are seeing those fundamental principles eroded especially under the Obama administration. As a quick example, look at what has happened under Obamacare, where the president….OK now the law is passed, the Supreme Court upheld it, and then he as president continued to move and adjust and alter and change the law of the land. The very same thing happened to private property rights.

Here in the state of Texas, we've had this Red River line between Oklahoma and Texas. Either side of the Red River belonged to either Oklahomans or Texans. Now, we have the federal Bureau of Land Management saying they have a right, to as much as 90,000 acres of this property that belongs to private property owners in the state of Texas. It's a complete abdication of the rule of law, property rights, and this is contrary to the fundamental principles upon which this country was based.

Here's the audio:

Evidently Greg Abbott thinks Bundy's remarks about slavery are a good segue to blaming Barack Obama for the Affordable Care Act.

Of course, this isn't the first time Abbott has flaunted his friendships with controversial figures. He previously refused to condemn appearing alongside admitted sexual predator Ted Nugent, a man who brags about the statutory rape of underaged girls and who called President Obama a “sub-human mongrel.”

Why is Greg Abbott refusing to denounce Cliven Bundy?

Is it because he thinks his Republican base will be disappointed in him if he does, or perhaps because he perceives no potential electoral harm in tacitly standing by his militia man?

Perhaps the real answer is even worse: lacking any denunciation from Abbott, Texans are left to wonder if the Attorney General actually agrees with the rancher's statements about slavery.

About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She has previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Austin. In addition to serving as the president of Austin Young Democrats, she is also UCONN's #1 fan in Texas.

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