AUSTIN, TEXAS — A political action committee that was established by a group of mothers has commissioned a back-to-school television advertisement targeted against Governor Greg Abbott. The advertisement depicts a small boy wearing body armor on his “first day of school.”
On Monday, August 15, just as children all over the state began returning to their schools, the Mothers Against Greg Abbott PAC debuted a new campaign advertisement with a back-to-school theme. This event is considered to be one of the most powerful pieces of political campaigning in the history of Texas. The thirty-second video shows a mother getting her kid, who is in elementary school, ready for his first day of school by doing things like buttoning his shirt and tying his shoes. The background is filled with the upbeat sound of a country song, yet the lyrics depict a somewhat gloomy picture.
A man is heard singing along to a guitar melody, and the lyrics “Small boys and little girls following the rules, getting ready for the first day of school” can be made out. “Politicians often claim that they make our country more secure and free. They are supposed to be a representation of both you and I. Keep the safety of our children in mind for both you and I.” The mother is seen beaming as she takes a picture of her son, but it quickly becomes clear that she was actually outfitting her charge with a mask and body armor while she took the picture. The closing shot depicts a little child looking directly into the camera while holding a sign that reads “First Day of School.” After then, there is a gradual transition to black on the screen, and a statement at the bottom of the screen reads, “Our children are not soldiers. On November 8th, cast your vote in favor of change.”
It is important to note that this is the third ad that has been produced by the women-led PAC against Governor Abbott in an effort to raise support for Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate who is running against Abbott in the forthcoming election for governor in November. Reportedly, the organization is also gathering signatures for a letter on gun safety reform that will be sent to the governor’s desk. The letter will call for the implementation of universal background checks, the raising of the age at which an individual can purchase a firearm to 21, as well as mandatory waiting periods. On Twitter, the organization made a proclamation to the effect of “We can’t keep waiting for tragedy to hit, or kicking the can once it does.” “Sign our letter to Greg Abbott demanding action to keep our kids safe from gun violence—or face the repercussions come November,” the letter reads. “If you don’t, you’ll have to deal with the fallout.”
The political action committee (PAC) revealed the previous week that it had put up five billboards around the state of Texas criticizing Governor Abbott for his response to the shooting at the Uvalde school. The Republican governor of the state is quoted in the commercials as claiming that the school shooting that resulted in the deaths of 19 students and two instructors “might have been worse.” The earlier commercials for the PAC were launched in July, and the most current one, which also happened to be the most popular, portrayed a scene from a work of fiction in which a physician calls Abbot to ask for permission to perform an abortion. According to reports, the advertisement received millions of views.
This current advertisement was launched just a few days after the Republican leader in Texas released his first television advertisement in the race for governor earlier this week. Cecilia, Abbott’s wife, tells the story of how she first met her husband while they were both students at the same university and how they soon after got married. The commercial is entirely autobiographical. In addition to this, she talks about the accident that put her husband in a wheelchair and praises his determination after it.
In the advertisement, Cecilia is heard saying, “When I watched how Greg Abbott responded to his crippling accident, I understood what Greg Abbott was really made of.” “His rehabilitation took a number of months, but he never gave up, and the delights of our marriage and the adoption of our daughter, Audrey, revealed to me the breadth and depth of his love and commitment. Putting in long hours, being resilient, and prioritizing family. That is what makes Greg Abbott who he is and how he runs the state of Texas, “she continued.