Profane recording surfaces of 2 Empower Texans operatives joking about Gov. Greg Abbott being in wheelchair

AUSTIN — Two operatives of the staunchly conservative activist group Empower Texans chortled over how Gov. Greg Abbott uses a wheelchair in expletive-laced remarks in which they condemned his coronavirus policies that allow fines if businesses don’t require masks.

The remarks, apparently distributed by mistake with the latest Texas Scorecard Radio podcast, were disclosed Friday by online political news outlet Quorum Report.

It posted a recording of about three minutes of “out-takes” in which Cary Cheshire, vice president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, a project of Empower Texans, and Empower Texans general counsel Tony McDonald discuss their disillusionment with Abbott. The two had just finished taping a final segment of the podcast.

“I said Abbott ‘wheeled himself out there,’” Cheshire recounted.

“I’m OK with it,” McDonald replied.

“And then within seconds, you demanded that he ‘stand firm,’” Cheshire continued. McDonald chuckled.

Within hours of Quorum Report’s post, Empower Texans leader Michael Sullivan tweeted that he apologized to Abbott and has suspended Cheshire and McDonald “from all public activities with the organization immediately, and additional internal actions will be taken.”

Abbott spokesman John Wittman fired back, calling the audio disgusting and despicable.

“It reveals a lot about an organization’s character and morals that uses profanity to mock a person in a wheelchair, and this audio is disgusting and hate-filled,” Wittman said. “It is sad to think about what else this group may be saying about people behind their backs when they think they aren’t being recorded. Regardless of this despicable tape, the governor remains keenly focused on containing the spread of COVID-19, while also unifying the state as we celebrate Juneteenth.”

Source: Dallas News