The setting for a recent interview in which Gov. Greg Abbott attacked COVID-19 vaccine mandates is leaving some Longhorns scratching their heads. On Wednesday, Abbott posted a tweet calling President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandat e unconstitutional and shared a clip of his interview with far-right news outlet Breitbart about the topic.
Biden’s vaccine mandate is unconstitutional. Period. pic.twitter.com/mPcSwVZfxl
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 20, 2021
“The main goal and one of the catalysts behind my action was to ensure that people would not be losing their jobs,” Abbott said in the video. “Neither the president of the United States nor the federal government have any legal authority, any constitutional authority, to issue their vaccine mandate. And so, they’re clearly acting illegally which is one of the reasons why I wanted to act because I wanted to set the counterbalance against the Biden administration to say that no one can be compelled to take a vaccine.”
According to Breitbart’s website , the interview was filmed before the Texas vs. Oklahoma State football game on Oct. 16. In the interview, Abbott also chanted an anti-Biden slogan “Let’s go Brandon” and said it’s caught on because of the president’s “disastrous policies” on the coronavirus pandemic.
"People are angry. People who come to these stadiums, who want to gather and celebrate a great American tradition like college football, and you have Joe Biden trying to shut things down and shut people out and you got [Anthony] Fauci saying you got to stay home until Christmas or whenever — and it's just ludicrous the policies that Joe Biden is advancing,” Abbott told Breitbart.
Reaction to the video was swift online, as current and former University of Texas at students quickly recognized the empty stands of the famous University of Texas at Austin stadium in the background. Some fans questioned why the governor was allowed to film an interview about vaccine mandates there. The university does not have a vaccine mandate in keeping with Abbott’s order, according to its website .
One user @CharlieKBonner tweeted “Never been more embarrassed to be a Longhorn,,, and that’s saying something.” Another user @J_Fuchs_ tweeted “Who at UT approved this being shot at DKR? Yikes.”
Never been more embarrassed to be a Longhorn,,, and that's saying something https://t.co/YRe3HBOX93
— Charlie Bonner (@CharlieKBonner) October 21, 2021
why would the university allow him to do that interview there? this why they not getting no money from me lol https://t.co/E0TYE7YbU6
— tydoroki (@TylerTexas19) October 21, 2021
Greg Abbott recording a Breitbart interview at midfield of DKR to symbolize to his supporters that he will never meet their expectations no matter how much money they give him https://t.co/8n3WxVTzue
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) October 21, 2021
Political action committee The Lincoln Project also called out the University of Texas at Austin for seemingly going against its own policy against political appeals involving the school. The group pointed to an ad criticizing Abbott that was slated to air during a September University of Texas football game, but was ultimately pulled due to its political content, per the Austin American Statesman .
Last month, @UTAustin pulled our ad, critical of Gov Abbott, from their network because it was political in nature. @BreitbartNews to host an exclusive interview with Abbott in their stadium? https://t.co/gT3uXsu6B7
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 20, 2021
“Yet, they allowed @BreitbartNews to host an exclusive interview with Abbott in their stadium?” the Lincoln Project tweeted Wednesday. “Hypocrisy or political influence? Either way, we won’t stand for it.”
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