Texas Governor Greg Abbott Boasts That He Is ‘More Powerful Than Putin’ Due To State’s Economy

Texas Governor appears for Ted Cruz at a rally, seated in his wheelchair in front of the crowd
Loren Elliott / Getty Images

At a rally in Texas supporting incumbent Senator Ted Cruz, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced that he is more powerful than Vladimir Putin. While warming up the crowd at the rally, according to the Daily Mail, Governor Abbott bragged that his state’s economy is the 10th largest in the world, bigger even than Russia.

“By comparison, the Texas economy is larger than Canada – it’s larger than Australia. And get this, the Texas economy is even larger than the economy of Russia. That makes me more powerful than Putin,” he told the crowd.

Senator Cruz appeared before a crowd of around 18,000 people on Monday as part of his campaign for re-election. Cruz has been fighting against challenger Beto O’Rourke, who has outraised Cruz by over $30 million in his bid for office, raising more than any Senate candidate ever has. As Texas moves left, Cruz has had to battle for a seat that was once a sure thing. He is only five points ahead of O’Rourke in polls.

In an effort to turn out voters and excite supporters, Cruz is holding rallies in his home state. Governor Abbot was the first in a line of politicians to show support for the incumbent at the rally. He urged the crowd to vote for Ted Cruz because Beto O’Rourke and other Democrats were trying to make the state more liberal.

“You got all these Californians throwing mud, and you got Beto O’ Rourke trying to win,” he said. “I don’t get it, because the fact is Beto O’Rourke is hostile to Texas values. Beto O’Rourke is against good quality judges.”

Abbott also suggested that O’Rourke wants to open U.S. borders to immigration, a frequently repeated Republican line that may not have any supporting evidence.

“He wants to increase your taxes, impose more regulations, and strengthen the size of government. And Beto O’Rourke wants to open our borders!” he told the crowd.

The governor encouraged the crowd to show America that Texas can’t be bought by voting for Cruz in the midterm elections, which take place on November 6.

Abbott was followed by Senator John Corny, who said that voters must pick Ted Cruz or risk “crushing” new taxes and “socialized” medicine. The senator also claimed that having Democrats in power would raise gas prices, result in fewer jobs, and more regulation.

President Trump also rallied for Cruz in Texas, calling his one-time opponent one of his top allies in Washington, D.C.