Watch: Andy Cohen slams 'bully' Greg Abbott for attacking 'vulnerable' transgender children and their families

Watch: Andy Cohen slams 'bully' Greg Abbott for attacking 'vulnerable' transgender children and their families

On Tuesday, March 1, Gov. Greg Abbott survived challenges from fellow Republicans Allen West and Don Huffines in Texas’ 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary and learned that he will be going up against former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic nominee, in the general election. Abbott will no doubt be emphasizing culture war issues between now and November, and it was also on March 1 that talk show host Andy Cohen slammed Abbott for the mean-spirited anti-transgender orders he has made in Texas.

Naming Abbott his “Jackhole of the Day,” Cohen told viewers, “You might have heard that the governor recently ordered that parents of transgender children who give their kids gender-affirming care should be investigated for child abuse.”

Abbott has ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate examples of gender-affirming care in the Lone Star State. Some prosecutors in Texas have said that they will refuse to prosecute parents who have given transgender children gender-affirming care. And the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on March 1, filed a lawsuit to block Abbott’s executive order.

Cohen, however, noted that at least one family with a transgender child is “already being investigated” thanks to Abbott’s executive order.

Cohen told viewers, “This order goes against the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and everyone who knows that gender-affirming care reduces emotional distress and the risk of suicide in kids who identify as transgender. I can’t believe I have to say this, but there is nothing pro-family about denying children medical care and threatening to rip them from their homes and families. To transgender youth in Texas: You belong, and I stand with you,”

The host went on to say, “To Gov. Abbott, picking on vulnerable children in an election year does not make you a leader, it makes you a bully. Texas, the best way to stand up to this bully is to vote like your life depends on it, because for a lot of transgender kids in Texas, it does.”

Texas will be home to one of the most closely watched gubernatorial battles of the 2022 midterms.

In an editorial published on February 21, the Austin American-Statesman’s editorial board argued that O’Rourke — if he won Texas’ 2022 Democratic gubernatorial primary — would be the person best equipped to take on Abbott in the general election. And the editorial board got its wish: O’Rourke enjoyed a landslide primary victory on March 1, receiving about 91% of the vote and defeating fellow Democrats Michael Cooper and Joy Díaz.

But O’Rourke has his work cut out for him. A recent Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll found Abbott leading O’Rourke by 7% in a hypothetical Abbott/O’Rourke matchup — which ceased to be a hypothetical when Abbott and O’Rourke won their primaries on March 1. Nonetheless, O’Rourke has an impressive track record in his state; in red Texas’ 2018 U.S. Senate race, the El Paso Democrat and former congressman lost to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz by less than 2%.

Watch below:

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