But at least two Texas Republicans weren’t having it.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Sen. Ted Cruz each fired back at O’Rourke, the former congressman from El Paso who failed to unseat Cruz in 2018 and then ran an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination.
O’Rourke’s Twitter post was a reaction to a tweet by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who touted the Lone Star State’s reopening plan as “Safe, Smart, and Strong.”
“Dangerous, dumb and weak,” O’Rourke wrote in retweeting Abbott’s message.
“Is this the new Dem slogan?” Cruz snapped back.
Crenshaw derided O’Rourke’s post as “a condescending reaction.”
“The guy who wanted to be Texas’s Senator truly believes Texans can’t make decisions for themselves and that they are ‘dumb and weak’ for living their lives and trying to feed their families,” Crenshaw wrote.
“And yes, he’s talking to all Texans, not just our governor,” Crenshaw added. “Governor Abbott can’t force anyone to go back to work. Texans are choosing to do that, despite what people like Beto scream from their ivory towers.”
In a separate tweet, O’Rourke accused Crenshaw of “getting rich selling his own book to the GOP (and being Trump’s most reliable enabler in the House).”
O’Rourke then asked his Twitter followers to donate to Crenshaw’s election opponent, Democrat Sima Ladjevardian, a Houston attorney.
“Millionaires fundraising for millionaires,” Crenshaw responded. “All while telling middle-class Texans they’re ‘dumb and weak’ for wanting to get back to work.”
Crenshaw, who served in Afghanistan as a Navy SEAL, then invited his Twitter followers to donate to his campaign.
In more commentary on the Texas reopening plan, O’Rourke retweeted a Washington Post story that said Texas recently reported new single-day highs in both coronavirus infections and deaths.
“Despite what Trump & co. (Abbott & Patrick) say, stay home if you can & wear a mask if you have to go out. It will save lives,” O’Rourke wrote.
Last week Gov. Abbott outlined Phase II of the Texas reopening plan. It permits child care centers, massage and personal care spas and youth clubs to reopen May 18; bars, bowling alleys, bingo halls and other entertainment venues to resume operations May 22 – with restaurants at 50 percent of capacity – and sets a May 31 reopening date for youth camps and sporting events.
As of early Sunday, Texas – the nation’s No. 2 most populous state, with about 29 million residents – ranked No. 15 with about 1,400 coronavirus deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.