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tv   Texas Gubernatorial Debate  CSPAN  September 21, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm EDT

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in ind.
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indiscernible conversations] >> the two candidates in afghanistan -- have come to an
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agreement. the news come after allegations of voter fraud led to questions about a declared winner for several months. he will agreement, receive the title of president. his challenge will become chief yoor. eck utaher eck execute oar >> the 2015 c-span student cam video competition is under way, open to all middle and high school students to create a five to seven minute documentary on the theme, the three branches and you, showing how policy, law or action by the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the federal government has affected you or your community. there's prizes. for a list of rules and how to get started, go to student cam
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.org. over the next two hours, c pan 2014 coverage would look at debates in texas and arkansas. we are bringing you more than 100 debates every sunday until election day. republicanhe race -- greg abbott was a lead against democratic candidate wendy davis. here's a look at the ads running in the state. ♪ >> when you're battling cancer, you pray for a cure. but greg abbott did his best to keep my prayers from being answered. he was charged with overeing the state cancer research fund. they showered abbott with gifts and free vacations and they made off with money that was meant to find a cure.
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i pray that greg abbott never becomes our governor. >> new allegations against texas governor candidate wendy davis. investigations find contrabandity wendy davis didn't always recuse herself from city council work when the city was considering projects that was best for her best. e voted for $20.5 million in . x breaks >> every week, businesses leave california to escape high tech and strangling regulations. they come to texas because we keep taxes low and regulations reasonable. i'm greg abbott. my job will build on that, control state pending. keep taxes low so small businesses can grow.
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together we'll keep texas number one in jobs. >> in a texas courtroom greg abbott made the case against our children. he fought for $5 billion in cuts to education made by his insider buddies. and now ab abbott is proposing giving standardized tests to 4-year-olds. wendy davis will reduce the number of kids -- the number of tests our across the board. you decide who will be best for texas. candidates are looking to succeed governor rick perry who will be leaving office at the end of his fourth term. this debate is an hour. >> this is a texas gubernatorial
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debate live from the rio grande valley. here is your moderator ryan wolf. republican candidate attorney general greg abbott and democratic senator wendy davis square off in a one-hour debate. good evening and welcome to this historic first gube torrey debate in texas in the rio grande valley. i'm ryan wolf. this is the very first texas gube tore yaw debate ever held in the rio grande valley. senator wendy davis, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. >> attorney greg abbott thank you much for being here. >> thank you. >> we want to welcome our audience and people across the state of texas, online and across the nation on c-span.
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i'd like to introduce my co-mode rateors tonight. -- ave carlos sanchez and you can be a part of this debate. hop online, facebook and twitter. we'd love to hear your response to what the candidates are saying and also keep store tonight. right now we will have words for our spanish viewers. >> thank you, ryan. speaking in spanish]
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>> coral ouse now with a review of tonight's rules. >> thank you. the debate will last one hour. each candidate will have one minute to respond to questions and the opposing candidate 45 seconds to rebut. the questions have only been seen by the panelists. there will be no opening statements, but each candidate will have two minutes to close at the end of the debate. we determined that senator wendy davis will take the first question. nator davis, mayors have over the oncern security measures. what would you do to balance border security with economic developments? >> good evening. i'm happy to be here with everyone in the reo grand valley.
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i would start, carlos, by listening to the local law enforcement locals and officials who know what's what's right in their community. they asked that we have boots on the ground, deputies on the ground to assist with law enforcement, detention and arrest authority. the surge that the governor supports was one that i supported as well because if the federal government will not act to protect our borders, texas must and will. but at the same time we must be sensitive to the reputation of this community. comments from my opponent calling this area third world are inappropriate. and as governor, i will work with this community through our tourism fund to help repair the tarnished image that's occurred as a consequence. >> general abbott, your response. >> carlos, thank you. i want to extend my gratitude
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for being able to participate in this historic debate here in the rio grande valley which raises the issue that you touched upon. secure communities promote economic development. and we want to ensure that the community here in the rio grande valley, as well as any community in the state of texas, is going to be safe and secure. that is is the purpose of ensuring we have additional d.p.s. officers on the ground and sending the national guard. it's important to point out that it was after those law enforcement officials came here announced it was opening exploration in the rio grande valley. > recently a federal judge [indiscernible] >> well, listen, it is clear
quote
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that one things that needs to be done is to get beyond the school structure that we have in the past. the school structure that was litigated in this case was based in part on systems that were created in the last century. what i want to do is to reinvent education in schools in this state. my goal is to ensure that texas has the number one ranked high school and lower school education systems in the entire united states of america. and we do that by focusing on the fundamental building blocks of education. i want to ensure that education begins with a strong foundation, all the way through third grade, ensuring that students have the ability to read and do math at a great level by the time they finish the third grade. but most importantly, i want to put trust where it belongs and that is with our teachers and get all these one size fits all mandates from austin, texas off the backs of teachers. >> senator davis.
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>> in stark contrast to mr. abbott, i stood in protest to $5.4 billion in cuts to our public schools. mr. abbott has been depending them in court ever since. the judge's ruling ruled in favor of our children and against mr. abbott. mr. abbott, these cuts and the cuts that you are defending and tha have left our classrooms overcrowded, that have left our teachers laid off, that's not liberal, that's not conservative, it's just dumb. and it's shortchanging our children and selling out their future. as governor, i will make the education of our children a priority. and i will fight to make sure that our schools have more resources, not less. >> thank you. senator davis, you recently released a book in which you discuss your personal polite with aboorgs. what do you see as fair regulations on abortion? >> i have always believed that women should be able to make
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this most personal and difficult of decisions themselves, guided by their faith and their family and with their doctor. i stood on the senate floor for 13 hours to assure that this most prive the of decisions can be made by women. my opponent on the other hand has paid women in his office less than he's paid men. he has campaigned with a known sex combrule predator who has bragged about having sex with underage girls and he has shown that he is not favorable even for women to make the decisions on their own in cases of brutal rape or incest. mr. abbott, that is not protecting texas women. and on behalf of texas women, i say no thank you. >> general abbott, your response. >> sure, ryan, i am pro-life and i'm catholic.
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like most texans, i believe all lives are sacred. as governor, i will develop a culture of life in the state. until we can do even more to protect both women and children, but to directly answer your question, texas is ensuring that we protect more lives and do a better job of protecting the health care of women by providing that women still have five months to make a very difficult decision, but after that time the state has an interest in protecting innocent life. >> general abbott, in a speech in dallas you compared corruption in the valley to third world country practices. what was your motivation behind that comparison and do you regret that many people were offended by that statement? >> carlos, as you pointed that out i did make that statement in class dallas. i wasn't targeting the rio
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grande valley. as attorney general i have tried to prosecute corruption throughout the state of texas. it doesn't matter in you're in the rio grande valley or in dallas texas, we need to have a state that i limb nates corruption. as governor, i will continue to ensure that we rule out challenges like this which is consider i have proposed ethics reform so we can prevent situations like legislate lateors who are profiting. carlos, it doesn't matter if you're here in the r.g.v. or if you're in the panhandle, we want to ensure that your public officials are abiding by your law. as your attorney general and as your governor, i will ensure that is done. >> senator davis, your response. >> these comments mean something. they label a community and mr.
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abbott, though he says he's worked on corruption in other parts of the state, has never referred to other parts of this state as third world. words matter. we embrace this area of our state as a part of our state, an incredible part of the diversity of who we are. as governor, my focus will be on vest -- investing and making sure that everyone understand what's i understand about the rio grande valley, that it is filled with parents who want opportunities for their children, that it is filled with hard working people who want jobs that will pay them well. and as their next governor, it's my intention to provide that. >> thank you. senator davis, do you support issuing driver's license to undocumented immigrants, why or why not? >> i believe that everyone who is on the road should have a driver's license and should be insured. other states have found a way to
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make this happen, even for undocumented immigrants in their community. far too often as a public serve ant i've been told about incidences where people have been in an accident with an uninsured driver. as arizona does, texas, i believe, should issue driver certificates for people who pass a driver's test and prove that they have insurance. that's the safest way that we can assure the people who are driving on our roads are driving with the right authority and with the right insurance. >> general abbott. >> there are problems with regard to the conflict that these law wozz have with the federal real idea. we saw that come into play when we did have another state that tried to create these driver's licenses in the form of california. and the u.s. department of justice rejected california's attempt to create these licenses and so i think it's simply
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unworkable because the conflict with federal law. >> thank you. eneral abbott, a recent report ranks the r.g.v. as worse with veteran care. what actions would you take to improve quality of care that veterans receive? >> it is offensive that the men and women who have fought for our country are having to wait and now it's been documented sometimes losing their lives because of the inadequate care of the veterans administration. i got to tell you, my family looks a lot like texas. it is filled with veterans. my brother served in the united states navy for 20 years. my wife's family served in the army, navy, air force and marines. in fact she has an uncle who actually served in the army during world war ii. and the men and women who serve on the frontlines should not have to be pushed to the back of the line when when it comes to
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their health care needs. it is offensive that during his campaign barack obama came down here to the rio grande valley and said he would establish a veterans health care hospital right here and we're still waiting for the president to make make sure on his promise. i will work with federal authorities to ensure we get the health care we need for our veterans. >> senator davis, your response. >> it is unacceptable that anyone who served our country should find themselves here without the medical care they have earned and that they so deserve. i will work with this community to ensure we do bring a veterans hospital here to serve our service members who have served us so well. right now they are have to drive as far as san antonio. we have a great opportunity for this with the new u.t.r.t.v. medical school. i'd like to see us work with the
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utrrgv medical school to see if we can create a shared campus that provides a medical hospital specifically for our veterans. >> thank you. >> senator davis, texas has left millions of dollars on the table that would have come to the state if we had expanded medicaid. if elected, would you go after that money and could you explain that answer? >> greg abbott's plan is that we $100 billion -- of our tax money to california and new york in the next 10 years. there is a reason that republican governors around this country have found a way that's right for their states to bring this money down. there's a reason that champ bers of commerce throughout the state, including right here in the rio grande valley, have begged us to do the right thing and bring this money back to texas to work for you and to create the 300,000 estimated jobs per year that it will bring. mr. abbott is california's best
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friend in texas because he wants to continue sending our texas dollars to them. and, of course, mr. abbott, california already has one governor. they do not need two. >> general abbott, yu response. >> carlos, i will provide more access to more health care to more texans. i've led out a plan that ensures we increase funding for women and veterans. we increase funding for the disabled and mental health needs. but i will not do what senator davis will do. senator davis wants to expand obamacare in the state of texas and that is the last thing we need because obamacare is a failure. obamacare and expandeded medicare is bad for patients, it is bad for doctors, it is bad for taxpayers. you've seen the future of obamacare with v.a. care. as it concerns for doctors, they are fleeing both medicaid and
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obamacare because they simply cannot get paid and we can't have health care without doctors. >> general abbott do you support the -- >> we don't need these obama-style mandates telling business how to run their business. the one thing we know is government doesn't know how to run business and proof of that is by looking at the state of texas itself. because i know that senator davis thinks that we need to have an increased in minimum wage here. but here is the lost fact and that is about 94% of the hourly wage jobs in the state of texas are paid at above minimum wage already. there's a reason for that. and that is because texas's models works as it concerns job creation. what we need to do is get government off the backs of businesses and let the free market do this. if you look at the wage growth that we've seen in the state of
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texas, the federal reserve says that the greatest increases we've seen in jobs in texas are -- we two ranks of higher don't let the federal governments tell us how to run our business. >> senator davis. >> i know it's hard to work as hard as you can and yet stand at the grocery stand and having to put food back because you can't afford it. at 7.25 an hour, that's only only $15,000 a year. that is not enough to support a family. it's good for texas for us to raise the minimum wage and to provide an opportunity for families to provide for themselves as they so desperately want to do. once again, my opponent is looking out for his insider friends, not for texas families
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who would benefit if they've worked a hard day's work they deserve a fair pay. >> this question is for you. austin is beginning to resemible washington, d.c. more and more with the lack of decision making. as governor, what would you do to prevent legislative gridlock here in texas? >> ryan, i started on the fort worth city council where i served for nine years. i did not serve with a party affiliation next to my name and i didn't learn how to function with one either. i'm very proud as a member of the texas senate i have worked across the aisle to pass, to coauthor and support legislation across the aisle. as governor, i believe we need a leader who will bring people together, who will stop the partisan division that we've seen in austin and it is creeping more and more into our everyday affairs. the people of texas deserve us to put them not partisan politics first.
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and as their next governor, i can assure that i will continue to demonstrate respect for both parties, bring them together for common solutions, particularly making sure that we fund our public schools. >> general abbott, your response. >> i've been very effective at working with members of both parties to past legislation, even though i'm working as the capacity as attorney general. i've worked with senator rodney ellis in passing criminal justice reports. i've worked with senator watson in passing reforms to open government laws. but i think the most important thing is i'm going to be focused on the issues that i think affect all texas families. i'm going to focus that texas remains number one in the nation for job creation and building e roads we need for the next generation. i will ensure we have access to e class we need so our
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communities will be able to continue to grow. >> general abbott, there have been a number of cases where people have been proven innocent after they've been accused. >> i'm in favor of the death penalty. we want to ensure the death penalty is going to be enforced effectively. we have several ways we ensure no innocent person is put to death. one is we have multiple layers of the appellate process he. you'll have literally dozen of judges who are able to look at these matters before a person is actually put to death. however, i think it is important that texas continue to take a national leadership role in assuring that the accuracy and certainty of death penalty and
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that is why i work with senator ellis on an advanced d.n.a. testing process in death penalty cases to ensure that if a person is accused after i crime that would face the death penalty we have the right person. >> senator davis, your response. >> i support the death penalty and as governor, i will be prepared to enforce it. this week, general abbott and i were woge both at an occasion a sad but a tribute occasion to someone who died serving a prison sentence for a crime that he didn't commit. it reminds us all of the importance of making sure before we meet out that most ultimate of pun eshments that we are sure we are muting it out for a guilty person. d.n.a. evidence is important not only for victims of crime but also for those who are accused. that's why i am proud to have helped to have clear a backlog of over 18,000 rape kits in our
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state, making sure that victims have justice that they deserve and that no innocent person is sitting in jail. >> thank you. senator davis, the governor had the national guard and the d.p.s. troopers -- >> if the federal government will not act to secure our borders, texas must and we will. i did support the surge of d.p.s. troops to our border. but i also asked the governor and what i would do had i had been governor at the time, i asked him to convene us in a special session so that we could hear from local community members what their needs were here, not only in law enforcement where we would have been told by sheriff gara and others that they need deputies with arrest and detention authority, they want the right boots on the ground, but we also shude have asked those who have
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been serving the needs of folks who have been coming across the border, the humanitarian side of this issue, catholic charities and other faith based and nonprove -- nonprofit organizations need our help. and unless the federal government acts to assure that assistance, texas must and when i am governor, we will. >> general abbott. >> the federal government has failed to solve this problem but texas will not stand i'dly by. i'm the only candidate on this stage tonight who has outlined a plan to deal with border security. d.p.s. s to add 500 troops to help support. i had 20 texas rangers. had efforts to ensure public and trust. i go after the gang related problems as a result that's
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still over cross border activity d i came out with a new anti smuggling law to allow us to crack down on those who are harming victims the most. -- this has been a summer of immigration concerns. that has spurred anti-hispanic rhetoric. as governor, do you feel there is a responsibly to diminish it? >> i absolutely do and i feel that in part because of my family. i have been married into a hispanic family for 33 years. my wife and i celebrated our 33rd anniversary last month. if the people of texas elect me to be the governor, my wife will be the first hispanic first lady in the history of the state and i think that is setting a new tone in our ability to connect with voters across the state. it is essential that everyone in every geographic region, everyone of every type of background know that greg abbott is going to be a governor for them and their culture. what i have found in my marriage is that even though we come from
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different cultural backgrounds, we unite on common principles of faith, freedom, and the free enterprise principles that will allow anyone to start and grow a business. those all use permit across the state of texas and our core for the future of the state. >> greg abbott has shown his disrespect for this community by referring to it as a third world. what we need to do is continue to provide opportunities for every single hard-working texan. everyone in our state wants their children to have opportunities and a better future than they had. making sure that we are providing that for every child, no matter who they are, no matter where they are from, no matter how rich or poor, no matter their race is our job. i will consider it my most important job.
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mr. abbott has an working very hard to silence the voices of members of the hispanic community. he leads a party that is calling for the repeal -- >> for closing statements, you can add on to that. this seems like a perfect spot for us to take a quick break for this historic texas gubernatorial debate from the rio grande valley and we want to remind people that you get to make the decision when you hit the polls in november. there are important dates to keep in mind. the last day to register's october 6 and early voting starts on october 20. the big day is on november 4. coming up next, what are my do it is a big part of the debate. the candidate to candidate question. based on what we have seen so far, the potential for the gloves to come off. it could be there. for folks watching at home, use
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the #rgvdebate and be part of the debate. let us know who is winning. what you want to hear out of this debate? it is your time to chime in. >> [speaking spanish] >> a reminder -- the first gubernatorial debate in texas held in the rio grande valley will continue right here. be sure to stay right there. we will be back right after this. welcome back to the very first texas gubernatorial debate life here at the edinburgh conference room in renaissance in the rio grande valley. we kick it off at the candidate to get a that question. >> senator davis, do you regret
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voting for barack obama? >> mr. abbott, what i am working on right now is running for governor of this incredible state. bringing policies forward that will benefit the state. i'm working to make sure that every hard-working texan, the matter where they start, as far as they dream. 30 years ago i could not have imagined that i would have the privilege. when i was a young, single, struggling mother, sitting on this stage and having the opportunity to ask texas for his vote. texas is at a turning point and that is what is important in the selection. will we create a 21st century future economy that works for all hard-working texans were just some? i believe that we need a governor who will fight for all hard-working texans every single
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day because their future depends on it. i believe we need a governor who is going to make sure that our children will receive a world-class -- >> thank you, senator davis. >> mr. abbott, a judge has recently ruled against you and in favor of the schoolchildren of texas. ruling that our schools are unconstitutionally underfunded. the only thing right now coming between our children and appropriate funding of their schools today is you. on behalf of the 5 million children of this state, will you agree tonight that you will drop your appeals and allow our schools to be appropriately funded? >> there is actually another thing coming between and settling that lawsuit and that is a law that you voted on and helped pass in 2011 that removes from the attorney general the ability to settle lawsuits just
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like this. it is important to understand that what i want to do is focus on creating, as governor, a better education system in this state. it is time we put our partisan differences aside when it comes to building a better future for the next generation what i'm focused on is not a school system that was constructed in part in the last century. what i'm focused on is building a better education system for the next generation. my goal as governor is to work towards elevating the texas education system to be ranked number one in the nation. >> attorney general -- >> senator davis, at the end of the program -- senator davis, we agreed to the rules before hand. i appreciate you want to interject.
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we know it is a lively discussion. at the end, we have closing statements and i encourage you to use that statement to continue the discussion. these are rules that we agreed upon together. >> senator davis, if elected would you push for individuals receiving and if it's like food stamps to be drug tested? >> i supported a bill that would put in place a mechanism like that last session. we also need to make sure we put in place a mechanism that would not force people off food stamps. i am very sensitive to the fact that children should not be punished by virtue of the fact that they may have a parent who is drug-addicted and therefore worked with the author of that bill to include a provision, if it was the case that a positive drug test was found for that person to continue to receive their assistance, if they would agree to go into a drug treatment program and to receive
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the help that they need. >> i do support that law. we want to do all we can in the state of texas to help those in need. part of what we can do to help those in need is help them improve their lives. one way to help them improve their lives if they are relying upon government benefits, we can try to help them deal with and overcome challenges they may have because of drug addiction or other challenges that may have shown up in the tests. we look for this to be a win-win situation, helping those dependent on government benefits to find a pathway beyond so they can begin to be a contributing to the fabric of the state of texas. >> san antonio recently voted to raise taxes to create a universal pre-k program. did you support a statewide pre-k program? if so, how will you fund it? >> i support improving pre-k. i view pre-k as the starting point in our education and what
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i have rolled out in the strategy i have is to have the premier pre-k program in the entire country. i know if we can continue educating our students at the very beginning, we will have that solid foundation that students need to build on. my education system does begin with pre-k four. more importantly, it builds on that to make sure that what they learn in pre-k is going to continue all the way through. it is essential that what we have in pre-k is not just drawing more money at it, but instead that we structure the most effective programs so that students really do have literacy and numeracy skills that they can begin to build on. >> i strongly support quality, full day pre-k for every eligible child in this state.
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unlike my opponent who would pick and choose which children are able to get off to a strong start, i would provide that strong start to every four-year-old in our state. my opponent has proposed a standardized tests for four-year-olds to demonstrate that they deserve to have pre-k support, picking and choosing those who would receive it and those which would not. under mr. abbott, four-year-olds in the state can be assured they would be subject to standardized tests. the only way they would get around that is if they hire a lobbyist, form a pac, and donate to the great abbott campaign because that is how he works. >> governor rick perry was indicted for abuse of power. do you agree with the decision to indict? >> i cannot presuppose whether i agree with the decision to indict because i do not know
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what the grand jury as before them. i do believe these are serious charges and deserve serious consideration. i won't second-guess the justice system. i will trust it to do its work and will abide by whatever decision is and respected. >> i was not a part of the grand jury and so i do not have the facts grand jury may have have. it is bizarre that a governor would be indicted for exercising a veto of a spending master. the veto authority is a constitutional authority and i want to make sure it remains so robustly so that when i am governor, i am able to exercise that veto for what i consider inappropriate spending. one of the key roles i will play is that making sure the state of texas lives in the confines of a budget. part of being able to fulfill that role is being able to exercise the constitutional veto power. >> general abbott, a mayor says that at the in the mayor, she expects to spend half $1 million in taxpayer funds for the humanitarian relief efforts related to the influx of immigrants this summer. what would you do to ensure voter cities are reimbursed?
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>> as we speak, my office is working on a potential lawsuit against the obama administration where we are putting together all of the expenses incurred by the state of texas. one proposal that i am pondering is the possibility of being able to roll into that potential litigation, the expenses that have been incurred by the rio grande valley because these are expenses that should not come out of the pockets of taxpayers in the state of texas. the reason is because it was not mckellen or the rio grande valley that caused this. the reason why this happened is because when the president stood in the rose garden in 2012 and cast a message basically telling people they would be able to come here without any type of enforcement. what we need to do is hold the president and his administration responsible for paying this bill. as we speak, i am working on
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getting that done. >> as i said earlier, had i been governor at that time, and when i am elected governor, if i have the privilege of serving there, i will call all of our local communities before the legislature and asked them what they need. i sent a letter to governor perry asking him to convene us in a special session and to bring forward not only local law enforcement from our border communities to hear what they needed, but also to hear from our faith-based and charitable organizations to see what it was we could do for them. it is the case that it is ultimately the federal government's responsibility to secure our border and to pay the cost of the consequence of not securing it.
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as a governor, i do believe that the state should step in and help communities such as this one. >> what would you do to combat the influence of drug cartels in texas? >> i believe that we must focus our efforts where they belong, on drug trafficking and human trafficking. that is why i supported the the surge of dps officers, officers who have the tension and arrest authority here. we need to be just as focused on the economic relationship between mexico and texas. when to invest more and not less in the infrastructure that will help accelerate efficiently the movement of goods to help mexico and texas. our economy is dependent on our relationship with mexico and as governor, i will make sure that we work across the border, not only on security, but in continuing to keep that economic relationship strong and vibrant.
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>> i'm the only candidate for governor who has a plan to go after the drug cartels. i was in visiting with a young latina, about college age. she pleaded with me to fill my promise to secure the border and go after the cartels because as she explained, her brother was playing a pickup soccer game here in the rio grande valley and had to play with the son of a cartel member. children should not be forced to have to make those types of play date decisions. as governor, i will secure our border and go after any drug cartel that tries to harm our taxpayers. >> leaders blame drought
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conditions and mexico's noncompliance with a treaty for a water shortage that has forced some regions to come back on farming. how would you make sure the mexico repays the water debt? >> i have started to work on this process. i met with an ambassador to visit about it. we talked about a number of issues. he was the ambassador from mexico to the united states. the we talked about the need for mexico to fulfill its obligation, to provide water to texas that texas deserves. you can tell he understood because you can see were mexico is today. they are growing economically and they know that part of their economic future is tied to the economic future of the state of texas. i think mexico wants to be a good partner. i think they want to see economic development flourish on both sides of the border and just like we would with the
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president in 2004 to ensure that we got our access to the water from mexico, i think we can do it again. >> drought conditions have cost the rio grande valley millions of dollars. last year farmers had to turn hundreds of millions of dollars as a consequence of that. ensuring enforcement of a 1944 water treaty with mexico is essential and as governor, i will create the relationship with mexico that fosters the kind of partnership that will foster that. that is why as a state senator i supported and was proud that voters supported a $2 billion water revolving fund that will help communities to create and grow water resources and conservation efforts to ensure that drought does not have the devastating economic impact it has. >> senator davis, the texas city
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of -- was rocked by a terrible explosion caused by chemicals that were stored there that many did not know were stored there. what you believe the state should do in regards to informing residents of cities if dangerous chemicals are in their midst? >> let's be clear -- right now the only thing that is coming between texas families knowing whether dangerous chemicals are being stored near their homes or near their school or where they work is greg abbott. greg abbott, who has shown time and again who'll favor the interest of his insider friends over those of hard-working texans when he rolls, that texas families no longer have a right to know whether these dangerous chemicals are being stored close to them. this came with him almost simultaneously with him excepting a $100,000 plus donation from his buddies in the chemistry industry, koch industries. when i'm governor, i will put
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hard-working texans first. >> there is a law in texas called the community right to know law and people in the state of texas have the right to gain information whether or not chemicals are stored in the neighborhood. there is another law competing with it. that is the texas homeland security act. i applied the texas homeland security act to make sure that information involving certain chemicals is not disclosed to potential terrorists, terrorists like timothy mcveigh who used a fertilizing element to blow up a courthouse in oklahoma city. i have been involved in prosecuting a terrorist member of isis. we need to be cautious about the information provided to terrorists in texas. >> do you think texas is tough
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enough on capital punishment? >> are we tough enough on capital punishment? we have probably the toughest capital punishment laws in the nation and our job in criminal justice is to ensure those who commit the most heinous crimes get the capital punishment they richly deserve and they deserve it because when you think about what has happened to the victims and the way the victims have been harmed and sometimes struggle before losing their lives, you need to make sure -- we need to ensure that those who commit the worst of crimes will be punished accordingly. it is essential that we carry out the ultimate punishment in a way that is fair and just and certain. >> last session as a state senator, i voted to expand the enforcement of capital
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punishment to include other crimes. i do support and will carry out as governor the death penalty. we also in texas have the highest number of exonerations of any state because we have not appropriately been using dna evidence. as governor, i will make sure that we do not have guilty people meeting the ultimate -- non-guilty people, i am sorry, meeting the ultimate punishment. only those were we are sure that this is the person who has committed a heinous crime in those instances should the death penalty be carried out. >> dps troopers along with 1000 national guard troops to protect the border is estimated to cost $20 million a month in texas. is it worth the cost? >> it is important that we put money into areas that will grow
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our economy. investing in education, making sure that every four-year-old in the state has access to quality pre-k to get off to a strong start, making sure that high school students have access to college and we make it affordable to them. when we spend money on something that was not requested by this local community and we put boots on the ground that don't have detention and arrest authority, approximately costing $12 million a month, we're shortchanging our ability to do what will make a smart investment in the future of this state. >> this was an expenditure that was necessary. it was necessary because the federal government failed to do its job. the federal government has the
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fundamental responsibility to secure and protect the border. it failed in its fundamental responsibility. texas will not stand idly by. we will step up and do what the federal government has failed to do. this is one reason why we are demanding from the federal government reimbursement from the expenditures that we have to pay up to secure the border. remember the last point, and that is secure communities promote economic development. this is a way of empowering the economy in south texas even more. >> please state your position regarding voter identification and explain that.
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>> i am in favor of voter identification loss. my office is the one representing the state of texas in this case. i favor it because of voter fraud is real. it must be stopped. i am the only candidate that stands for rooting out corruption in the voting process. i almost hesitate to bring this up, but you know that one of the challenges going on as we speak is the fact that the fbi is involved in an investigation about people in the rio grande valley for using cocaine to buy boats. we cannot accept or tolerate this kind of lack of integrity in the election process. the supreme court has ruled that voter identification is one of the tool state rights can use to maintain integrity in the election process. i'm the only candidate willing to fight for that principle. >> as a senator, i fought for the principle of making sure that people with valid opportunities and identifications to vote were provided the ability to do that. mr. abbott has a party was platform calls for the appeal of
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the voting rights act. let's be clear what it is about -- it is about repressing the minority vote. mr. abbott is defending in court a voter id law that has the purpose of that outcome. -- by tearing communities apart from each other, tearing minority voters across them each other, to suppress or voices at the ballot box. >> that concludes this historic debate at the rio grande valley. now it is time for the closing statements. you will each have two and its. >> a dear friend of mine has a grandmother who gave her the advice -- when someone shows you who they are, believe them. i have shown texans who i am. i showed it when i stood and fought against $5.4 billion in cuts to our public schools because that is not just bad for our children, it is bad for our future. i have shown up by fighting for
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every four-year-old to have access to full-day pre-k to get off to a strong start and every high school student to have affordable access to college. i have shown it by fighting to make sure to have people paid fairly for a hard day's work. an increase in the minimum wage is good, not bad for our economy. giving 2.8 million texans an increase in spending power and the ability to provide for their families is terribly important. i will fight for equal pay for equal work and i will fight to close outdated tax loopholes that benefit giant corporations and send that money instead to fund our public schools. my opponent has shown that he
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will not support equal pay for equal work for women, that he thinks we should pick and choose which of our children should get off to a good start and that time and again he will favor his insider friends over those of everyday texas families. voters will have to ask themselves this from the ballot box. who will fight for me? who will fight for my family? i am asking for your vote tonight. if i have the privilege of serving as your next governor, you won't need a high paid lobbyists from the texas capital to represent you. your voice will be there. im you. i have never forgotten who i am or where i come from and i will fight for you every single day. >> thank you for hosting this unprecedented debate opportunity here in the rio grande valley.
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as your attorney general, i have been fighting for your liberty against an overreaching federal government. i have elevated the texas child support system to be ranked number one in the system. i fought to defend the 10 commandments monument on the texas capital ground and we won. now i want to fight for the future of texas as your next governor. texas is already great. i am running for governor to make it even better. texas is number one in the nation for creating jobs and i will keep it that way by keeping government small and taxes low. i will build the roads and water projects we need to keep texas growing. i will also keep your community
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safe from the rio grande valley all the way to the red river. i will also work to build a brighter future for the next generation. the way i see it, texas is number one in the nation for jobs. we are also number one in the nation for farms, for exports, for energy production, for so many different things. the time has come to set a new aspiration. texas should be number one in the nation for educating our children. as your governor, i will work to fulfill that aspiration. as your governor, i will keep texas in the land of opportunity. the place where hopes and dreams can still be realized. the place were more freedom and less government still matters. i am running for governor and i am asking for your vote to make texas even better. thank you. >> that concludes the first texas gubernatorial debate live from the rio grande valley. what a great hour. we appreciate both candidates coming out. senator wendy davis, thank you for your time and insight. general greg abbott, thank you
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so much as well. we appreciate you coming tonight. this is all about arming our viewers with the information >> to make an informed decision when they hit the polls. we reiterating the important dates of last day to register to vote is october 6. early voting again begins october 20. and the big day when we'll decide a new governor here in texas. it will be on november 4th. i want to bring in, if it's ok, carlos, the editor of the monitor newspaper. your thoughts tonight on this historic debate. >> thank you all for your participation. we should be mindful that there is one clear winner, that's the voters of the rio grande valley. i think on behalf of them we appreciate your willingness to come here and subject yourself to questions and with your candor in your answers. >> delela >> your final

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