AUSTIN, Texas - Many of the big issues from this Week in Texas Politics could have an impact on the hotly contested gubernatorial race.
Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke were both playing some political hard ball. Abbott tossed a "make my day" comment in response to a statement made by the mayor of New York. O’Rourke cursed back at a heckler during one of his gatherings.
As if that’s not enough, the week also included turmoil involving ERCOT, libertarians and the Trump raid.
RUDY KOSKI: Typically August is a downtime for politics, but like the temperature, things are heating up. So let's get started now with our panel and their headlines will begin first with Greg Groogan with Fox 26 in Houston. Greg, your headline.
GREG GROOGAN: Rudy, Feds raid Mar-a-Lago. What's in the safe?
RUDY KOSKI: Holly Hansen, The Texan. What's your headline?
HOLLY HANSEN: Biden Economics, 8.5% inflation is now the same as zero inflation.
RUDY KOSKI: Brian Smith, St Edward's University, your headline for the week.
BRIAN SMITH: Buses and Cusses, highlight the governor's race.
RUDY KOSKI: And Patrick Svitek with the Texas Tribune. Patrick, what's your headline for the week?
PATRICK SVITEK: Yeah, I have to go with the same one. Beto O'Rourke swears and confronts gun control heckler at rural Texas event.
BIG APPLE BUSES
RUDY KOSKI: All right. We're going to talk about that in a moment. But first, let's get with our migrant busing going up to D.C. in New York. The mayor of New York saying that he wants to do reverse trips and send Democrat operatives to Texas to help campaign against Greg Abbott.
GREG GROOGAN: When you look at the whole concept of two populations of Beaumont coming across our border every month, it makes a point.
HOLLY HANSEN: I think it just illustrates, you know, the stark difference. These communities here along the Texas border have a much lower socioeconomic status, but they're coping with these migrants on a daily basis in the hundreds of thousands.
BRIAN SMITH: What it does is it shows that cities in the north don't understand the immigration problem that Texas is facing right now.
RUDY KOSKI: Patrick, does he expand to other cities now?
PATRICK SVITEK: So I would not be shocked at all if Los Angeles or San Francisco were added to that itinerary sometime soon.
BETO CURSES AT HECKLER
RUDY KOSKI: Beto O'Rourke had a very sharp rebuttal to a heckler at one of his events this week. Greg, is this a preview of the debate that's coming up in September?
GREG GROOGAN: Yeah. You know Beto O'Rourke is no longer running away from his statement at the presidential debate that he wanted to seize AR 15s and semiautomatic rifles. He's running towards it. And Uvalde changed the landscape. Whether it will be a winning issue for him down the stretch run. I think that's pretty much, very much in doubt right now. But at least he's not running away from it.
BRIAN SMITH: He still needs something more. He has the guns issue that he's running on. Now we have Angry Beto, but he still needs something more, some other issue. If he's going to beat Governor Abbott.
FBI RAIDS MAR-A-LAGO
RUDY KOSKI: The FBI raid on the home of former President Trump dominated the news cycle this week. It even had ripple effects here in the state with the governor and several other Republicans responding to it. But the big question is, will this ripple effect continue on into the Fall?
PATRICK SVITEK: So I think this is politically, this raid was just a huge gift to him.
HOLLY HANSEN: I do think it puts wind beneath his wings and encourages some of his ... some of his supporters, to get out to the polls this fall.
SEARCH FOR NEW ERCOT CEO
RUDY KOSKI: Gov. Abbott has been accused of meddling in the process of getting the new CEO for ERCOT. Greg, you had an idea, what is that idea?
GREG GROOGAN: Well, it's pretty novel. You know, Mike Collier (Candidate for Lt. Governor) is campaigning on the idea of fixing the Grid. He's a Democrat. Why not appoint Mike Collier, ERCOT CEO? If it works, then you have a very successful show of bipartisanship. And if it doesn't work, he's a Democrat. You blame it on him.
RUDY KOSKI: Snowball's chance there, Patrick.
PATRICK SVITEK: Yes, I would agree. Novel idea, though. Very creative.
TEXAS GOP AND LIBERTARIANS
RUDY KOSKI: Brian, the Texas GOP wants the Libertarians off the ballot. Is this a dangerous move, in your opinion?
BRIAN SMITH: It's politically smart. Again, you take away people who could vote against you because a vote for the Libertarians is the same as a vote for the Democrats.
PATRICK SVITEK: If you're in a race that's expected to be very close in November, it's certainly in your interest as a Republican to get them off the ballot.
GREG GROOGAN: Well, exactly. You know, it's heavy-handed. It's anti-democratic.
HOLLY HANSEN: But you know, what's interesting is you look at these Libertarians, they're not saying they complied with the law. They're openly defying the rules for filing. So they're kind of challenging that. So there's an interesting legal question. It'll be interesting to see what the Supreme Court does on this.
WEEK IN A WORD
RUDY KOSKI: And with that, let's wrap up this week in politics with our one word, and we'll start off with Patrick Svitek. Patrick. What's your one word?
PATRICK SVITEK: Well, I probably can't say it on this family friendly broadcast, but it would have to be that swear word that Beto O' Rourke used with that heckler this week.
RUDY KOSKI: The initials M.F.
PATRICK SVITEK: Correct.
RUDY KOSKI: Multifamily. Brian, what's your one word?
PATRICK SVITEK: Raids.
RUDY KOSKI: Holly, what is your one word?
HOLLY HANSEN: Theatrics.
RUDY KOSKI: And Greg, you're one word for the week.
GREG GROOGAN: I'll quote a former Republican governor. Mofo.
PATRICK SVITEK: That was the right way to handle that one, I'm jealous.
RUDY KOSKI: And with that, we're wrapping up another week in Texas politics.