October 24, 2021

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Anti-Trump Republican group targets Texas governor with ad showing wall of COVID victim coffins – USA TODAY

2 min read

A Republican group known for speaking out against former President Donald Trump is calling out Texas governor Greg Abbott after a television ad was pulled blasting his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Lincoln Project, an American political action committee formed in 2019 made up of former and current Republicans, issued a statement questioning why the TV ad that it funded for $25,000 on ESPN during the nationally-televised Texas vs. Rice college football game didn’t air. The group said the ad was pulled 10 minutes before it was expected to run, despite ESPN’s legal team clearing it beforehand. 

The ad was pulled, citing a “university-made” decision. And a spokesman for Abbott told The Dallas Morning News he had nothing to do with the decision. Still, the Lincoln Project asserts that Abbott, a Texas graduate who appoints members of the school’s board of regents, played a part in the ad not running and said it plans to file a public records request to determine that. 

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“Did Greg Abbott or his allies assert political influence to ensure the advertisement was not broadcast?” the Lincoln Project asked in the news release. “Once again, instead of focusing on the task of keeping Texans safe from the coronavirus pandemic, it appears they’ve focused their time and energy on censoring those that would hold him to account for his failures.”

In the un-aired commercial, Abbott is targeted for blame of 60,000 COVID-19 deaths in the state of Texas. Images of the US southern border wall are shown in the background. The ad’s text says: “If Governor Abbott wants to build a new wall, tell him to stop building this one.” Then, a wall of coffins is shown. The ad asserts that an 85-mile cemetery from Austin to San Antonio is a result of Abbott’s loosened COVID-19 policies. 

Even though Texas is among the states leading the nation in COVID cases, the governor has banned mask mandates. Texas school districts and select jurisdictions have requested mask mandates to protect students and teachers against the virus.

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