The Mothers Against Greg Abbott PAC premiered a new back to school-themed campaign ad on Monday, just as children across the Lone Star State started returning to the classroom. In the 30-second clip, a mother helps dress her elementary-aged son for the first day of school, buttoning his shirt and tying his shoes. A cheerful-sounding country track plays in the background. However, the lyrics tell a different story.
Our children are not soldiers, regardless of what the extreme right thinks. Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or neither, it’s time to come together and demand gun safety now. #FirstDayOfSchool https://t.co/Dkryr4Gz4v pic.twitter.com/ktKtohftB1
— Mothers Against Greg Abbott PAC (@MomsAGAbbott) August 15, 2022
“Little boys and little girls followin’ the rules, gettin’ ready for the first day of school,” a man sings along to a guitar melody. “Politicians say they make our land safe and free. They’re supposed to stand for you and me. Keep our children safe for you and me.”
As the mom proudly snaps a photo of her son, it is soon revealed that she was actually dressing him in body armor and a helmet. The child looks solemnly into the camera while holding a sign that reads “First Day of School.”
“Our children are not soldiers,” a caption reads as the screen fades to black. “Vote for change on November 8th.”
The ad is the third released by the women-led PAC against Gov. Greg Abbott in order to rally votes for his Democratic gubernatorial opponent Beto O’Rourke in the upcoming November election. The group is also collecting signatures for a letter to be sent to Abbott on gun safety reform , calling for the implementation of universal background checks, raising the age to buy a gun to 21, and mandatory waiting periods.
“We can’t keep waiting for tragedy to strike, or kicking the can once it does,” the group wrote on Twitter . “Sign our letter to Greg Abbott demanding action to keep our kids safe from gun violence—or face the consequences come November.”
Our first Billboards are up! It will continue to be worse and get worse if Greg Abbott wins. We know what Abbott’s world like, it’s time to “Take Texas Back” democrats.” #VoteBeto pic.twitter.com/ycd6WGRLYd
— Mothers Against Greg Abbott PAC (@MomsAGAbbott) August 9, 2022
Last week, the PAC representing Texas moms announced it had put up five billboards across Texas criticizing Abbott over his response to the Uvalde school shooting. The billboards quote Abbott stating after the shooting that the massacre of 19 children and two teachers “could have been worse.”
The PAC’s previous ads, which were both released in July, have garnered millions of views online. The most recent, and its most popular, depicted a fictional scene of a doctor calling Abbott to ask if he would allow an abortion . The clip amassed more than seven million views.
The latest Mothers Against Greg Abbott ad comes on the heels of the Republican leader releasing his first TV ad in the Texas governor’s race this week. Far from focusing on policy, the largely biographical ad features Abbott’s wife , Cecilia, talking about meeting her husband in college and marrying him soon after. She also discusses the accident that put him in a wheelchair and takes pride in his perseverance.
“I learned what Greg Abbott was really made of when I saw how he responded to his paralyzing accident,” Cecilia said in the ad. “His recovery took months, but he never gave up and the joys of our marriage and adopting our daughter, Audrey, showed me the depths of his love and commitment. Hard work, perseverance, and family. That’s what defines Greg Abbott and how he governs Texas.”