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Texas gubernatorial debate: Beto O'Rourke, Greg Abbott spar on guns, abortion and immigration - CBS News

Texas gubernatorial debate: Beto O'Rourke, Greg Abbott spar on guns, abortion and immigration - CBS News

Texas gubernatorial debate: Beto O'Rourke, Greg Abbott spar on guns, abortion and immigration - CBS News
Oct 01, 2022 1 min, 45 secs

Texas' closely-watched gubernatorial race hit the final stretch Friday night at the first — and likely only — debate between incumbent Republican Gov.

Abbott and O'Rourke have not squared off in person since the day after the Uvalde school shooting, when O'Rourke confronted Abbott during a press conference.

O'Rourke has continued to hammer Abbott for his response to the shooting, even holding a press conference ahead of the debate with the families of shooting victims.

In the one-hour debate, Abbott was asked about his comments at that press conference the day after the Uvalde shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Abbott has said those laws would be challenged in court as unconstitutional. .

O'Rourke garnered national headlines in 2019 when, while running for president, he said at a debate "hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15s." He has appeared to walk back those statements, and on Friday, he said he was "for making sure we make progress.".

Abbott defended the program on Friday night, and said that New York City Mayor Eric Adams never reached out to his office, although Adams has said that he has.

Abbott has said the state would provide Plan B for victims of rape or incest, which he doubled down on on Friday night, saying Plan B should be "readily available" for them

O'Rourke said Friday that this election is a referendum on "reproductive freedom," and he told Texans that "if you care about that, you need to come out and vote." 52% of likely voters said they would change Texas' abortion laws to make the procedure more accessible, according to a Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation/KVUE poll. 

Prior to  debate, a focus group told Nexstar that 40% supported Abbott, 27% backed O'Rourke, and 33% were undecided

After the debate, 50% supported O'Rourke, 43% supported Abbott, and 7% were undecided. 

This is the only debate Abbott has agreed to, while O'Rourke has accepted several other invitations

Ahead of the debate, O'Rourke accused Abbott of nixing the live audience, although Abbott's campaign told the Houston Chronicle that the debate conditions had been agreed upon beforehand – without an audience. 


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