Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appears at a press conference

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott holds a press conference in Uvalde, Texas on May 25, 2022. (Photo: Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images)

'Counting Dollars While They Were Counting Bodies': Abbott Attended Fundraiser Hours After Massacre

"The same governor who told Beto O'Rourke this isn't the time for politics took the time to stop at a political fundraiser for himself after he knew... kids had been murdered in a Texas elementary school."

Jake Johnson

Hours after a gunman armed with two AR-15-style rifles massacred 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott attended a high-dollar fundraiser for his reelection campaign at a private home 300 miles from the site of the shooting.

The Tuesday evening fundraiser took place at the home of Huntsville resident Jeff Bradley, who confirmed that he hosted the closed-door event but did not provide additional details, such as an attendance list.

"He was counting dollars while they were counting bodies," Beto O'Rourke, who is set to face Abbott in the November gubernatorial race, wrote on Twitter in response to news of the fundraiser, which was first reported by the Texas-based outlet Quorum Report.

Mark Miner, a spokesperson for Abbott's cash-flush reelection campaign, said in a statement that "after holding a briefing and press conference on the current wildfires in Taylor County, where he also provided an update on the situation in Uvalde, the governor did stop by a previously scheduled event last night at a private home in Walker County."

"All campaign and political activity, including a scheduled fundraiser for this evening, have been postponed until further notice," added Miner, who didn't explain why Abbott decided to attend the Walker County event.

Abbott is also slated to speak at the National Rifle Association's annual gathering in Houston on Friday alongside former President Donald Trump and other prominent Republicans, but the governor suggested Wednesday that he has not made a final decision on whether to go through with the appearance.

"As far as future plans are concerned, listen, I'm living moment-to-moment right now," Abbott told reporters. "My heart, my head, and my body are in Uvalde right now, and I'm here to help the people who are hurting."

During a press conference with top state and local officials in Uvalde on Wednesday, Abbott suggested that the crisis of gun violence in the U.S. is attributable to mental illness, though the governor also said the gunman had "no known mental health history."

O'Rourke, a former U.S. representative for Texas' 16th Congressional District, interrupted the press conference by walking up to the stage and accusing the state's political leadership of "doing nothing" in the wake of the Uvalde shooting.

"This is on you!" O'Rourke shouted as security attempted to push him back.

After the press conference resumed, Abbott said Texans should "put aside personal agendas and think of somebody other than ourselves"—a comment believed to be aimed at O'Rourke.

Scott Braddock, editor of the Quorum Report, responded that "the same governor who told Beto O'Rourke this isn't the time for politics took the time to stop at a political fundraiser for himself after he knew... kids had been murdered in a Texas elementary school."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Watchdog: Secret Service Didn't Notify Capitol Police of Threat to Pelosi Until After Jan. 6 Attack

"This is deeply disturbing and requires a full investigation," said one legal expert.

Jessica Corbett ·

Advocates Welcome Temporary Block on South Carolina's 6-Week Abortion Ban

"Today's decision is a huge relief for people who desperately need abortion care in South Carolina right now," said one reproductive rights lawyer.

Brett Wilkins ·

Federal Court Strikes Down Ruling That Blocked Biden's Drilling Moratorium

"Today's decision demonstrates how flawed the preliminary injunction issued in June 2021 was, and that Interior must quickly take action to reform the federal fossil fuel program," said one environmental lawyer.

Julia Conley ·

Two Weeks Before Payments Resume, Progressives Tell Biden 'Time to Cancel Student Debt'

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that "we're having conversations daily with the White House and borrowers will know directly and soon from us when a decision is made."

Jessica Corbett ·

Progressive Mandela Barnes Leads Ron Johnson by 7 Points in New Poll

"People are done being represented by an out-of-touch, self-serving multimillionaire like Ron Johnson," said Wisconsin's Democratic Senate nominee.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo