Texas Gov. Abbott's reelection bid shadowed by adviser's anti-Trump retweets

Campaign political director Mitch Carney shared post-Jan. 6 thread urging that then-president be given 24 hours to resign and lawmakers objecting to certification of Biden win be 'denied higher office.'

Updated: January 21, 2022 - 6:25am

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is facing questions in his 2022 reelection bid about his loyalty to Donald Trump, even as he touts his endorsement by the former president and maintains a large lead over his conservative GOP primary rivals. 

In the GOP primary, in which Abbott faces former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West and businessman and one-term state Sen. Don Huffines, the governor has been bolstered by the good working relationship he enjoys with former president Trump. Prior to a visit to the border wall in June, Trump endorsed Abbott in his race. The move puzzled some close to the former president who recall moments during Trump's presidency when Abbott failed to show up for border roundtables.

Despite Trump's endorsement of the incumbent, Huffines and others in the conservative wing of the state party question Abbott's loyalty to the GOP's de facto national leader, citing anti-Trump sentiments that have been shared publicly by the Abbott campaign's political director, Mitch Carney.

Following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, Carney, a veteran Texas GOP political operative, retweeted and liked a number of tweets that disparaged the then-president and the Republican lawmakers who voted not to certify the results of the 2020 election.

A thread written by Tom Giovanetti, the president of the Texas-based think tank the Institute for Policy Innovation, and shared by Carney, urges that, following the events of Jan. 6, all House and Senate Republicans who signed on to a letter objecting to the certification of the 2020 election should be "denied higher office." That category includes more than two-thirds of Texas lawmakers, including Senator Ted Cruz and 16 of the 23 members of thee Texas House delegation.

In another tweet "liked" and recirculated by Carney, D.C. politico Michael Ahrens wrote that the events of Jan. 6 amounted to "domestic terrorism." 

In another instance of anti-Trump sentiment, Carney tweeted prior to Trump's election in 2016, "Trumps [sic] own staff thinks he's a joke," linking to an article about remarks the then-presidential candidate's Texas director had made.

"Sadly, it's not surprising Greg Abbott's staffers are disparaging President Trump," Huffines told Just the News. "However, what's more important are Abbott's failures to support the president in auditing our elections and actually securing the Texas Border. I talk to Trump supporters everyday who are joining my campaign because they know Donald Trump and I are actual Republicans who will get things done."