Texas Lieutenant Governor Floats Barring Biden From Texas Ballot

Texas Lieutenant Governor Floats Barring Biden From Texas Ballot

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Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested barring President Joe Biden from the ballot in Texas on grounds of failing to secure the southern border.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, floated the idea of taking President Joe Biden off the ballot in Texas over his handling of the border crisis after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled to block former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot.

“Seeing what happened in Colorado tonight makes me think—except we believe in democracy in Texas—maybe we should take Joe Biden off the ballot in Texas for allowing 8 million people to cross the border since he’s been president, disrupting our state far more than anything anyone else has done in recent history,” Mr. Patrick told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham in an interview on Dec. 19.

Mr. Patrick’s remarks came after a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that bars President Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot on the basis of a section of the 14th Amendment that blocks those who engaged in an insurrection from running for office.

 Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick speaks at a 2024 campaign rally for former President Donald Trump in Waco, Texas, on March 25, 2023. (Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick speaks at a 2024 campaign rally for former President Donald Trump in Waco, Texas, on March 25, 2023. (Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Insurrectionist’ Back-and-Forth

President Trump, who called the Colorado court’s decision a politically motivated ploy to undermine his presidential campaign and a “shame” for the country, has denied being an “insurrectionist.”

Instead, he called President Biden an “insurrectionist,” laying out a rationale that includes his handling of the illegal immigration crisis.

“Crooked Joe Biden is the insurrectionist because he let millions of unknown people come recklessly and unchecked through our insane ‘Open’ Border, let a war begin in the Middle East and Ukraine, weaponized our DOJ & FBI, SURRENDERED in Afghanistan when we could have left with dignity and strength—the most embarrassing event in the history of our Country and is destroying America with the GREEN NEW SCAM!!!” the former president said in a post on Truth Social.

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The former president has repeatedly criticized President Biden for his border policies, which President Trump and others say are responsible for an illegal immigration crisis of historic proportions.

President Biden, meanwhile, told reporters after the Colorado Supreme Court decision that there was “no question” the former president was an insurrectionist.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on President Trump’s remarks.

 Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at the Pray Vote Stand Summit in Washington, on Sept. 15, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at the Pray Vote Stand Summit in Washington, on Sept. 15, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

‘Close the Border Down’

Republicans—and some Democrats—blame President Biden’s policies for fueling the border crisis.

During his first 100 days in office, President Biden took dozens of executive actions on immigration, including ordering a halt to the construction of the border wall.

Data from CBP shows that border patrol agents encountered a record-setting 2.48 million illegal immigrants at the southern border in fiscal year 2023. Also, October marked the 32nd straight month where illegal alien encounters were higher than even the highest month seen under President Trump.

While many Republicans see illegal border crossings as one of the country’s most pressing issues, polling shows that for Democrats, it’s of relatively low priority.

Biden administration officials have been reluctant to call the situation along the border a “crisis,” while White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has accused Republicans of turning the border issue into a “political stunt.”

However, some Democrats—in particular Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who is himself considering a 2024 presidential run—have raised the alarm on the border crisis. Mr. Manchin recently called for the southern border to be “closed down” and denounced fellow Democrats who downplay the seriousness of the influx of illegal immigrants into the country.

“Our borders are a mess,” Mr. Manchin said in a recent interview on Fox News, during which he expressed concern that the open border poses an urgent national security threat.

In fiscal year 2023, there were 169 people whose names appear on the terrorist watchlist who were arrested trying to cross the southern border, an all-time record.

 Illegal immigrants pass through a gap in the U.S. border wall to await processing by Border Patrol agents in Jacumba, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Illegal immigrants pass through a gap in the U.S. border wall to await processing by Border Patrol agents in Jacumba, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The Ruling and the Outcry

While the illegal immigration crisis roils on along the southern border, elsewhere, the focus is “insurrection.”

The Colorado Supreme Court’s Dec. 19 ruling centered on a section of the 14th Amendment that bars officials who have engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” from holding office.

Specifically, it’s based on an interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which is known as the disqualification clause, which states that no person shall hold office if they have “previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States” and engaged in “insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution.

The “insurrection” allegations against President Trump underpin several legal efforts by his opponents to block him from being listed on ballots in the 2024 presidential race on 14th Amendment grounds, seeking to portray him as the instigator of the Jan. 6 incident.

These cases basically argued that the former president took part in an insurrection by giving an impassioned speech on Jan. 6 before the Capitol breach occurred.

Even though President Trump said in his Jan. 6 speech that protesters should “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” his critics have seized on a portion of his remarks where he said, “We fight like hell” and “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore” as a call for violence.

The former president has, on numerous occasions, denied calling for violent protests while insisting he meant his remarks about fighting like hell metaphorically.

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