Not all Hispanics took exception to Texas conservative Greg Abbott referring to the heavily Mexican-American Rio Grande Valley with the term “third world.”
Rising GOP Latino star George P. Bush defended the Texas gubernatorial candidate’s remarks Wednesday, saying they were taken out of context, according to the Monitor, a newspaper in the border town of McAllen.
“After carefully reviewing the context of what [Abbot] said, I believe he was taken out of context and was merely pointing out one individual as opposed to condemning a whole region, or condemning a whole community,” Bush told the Monitor.
During a televised campaign appearance in Dallas, Abbott said that instances of law enforcement corruption in the Rio Grande Valley resembled “third-world country practices that erode the social fabric of our communities.” Abbott’s comments drew condemnation across Southern Texas, where a solid majority of the population is Mexican-American.
In an editorial, the Monitor asked Abbott to apologize, saying the paper was tired of seeing Hispanics portrayed “as the bogeyman of Texas.”
Despite the criticism, Abbott stood by his remarks, writing in the Monitor: “My comments about ‘corruption resembling third-world country practices’ are as true today as when I said them last week… Those comments were not directed at the Rio Grande Valley -- they apply wherever corruption is found.”
Corruption cases are commonly prosecuted across the United States, not just Mexico.
Bush was in the Valley this week campaigning for his run for Texas Land Commissioner.
The son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his Mexican-born wife Columba Gallo, Bush has emerged as a leading Latino figure for the Texas GOP. He co-founded the Hispanic Republicans of Texas PAC, a group dedicated to supporting Latino candidates who run for elected office as Republicans.
“For me and my family, it’s not Hispanic outreach,” Bush told the Texas Tribune last month. “It’s Hispanic inclusion.”