The Mirror

Texas Candidate Rips Opponent By Bringing ‘Geraldo’ Into The Race

Photo: Getty Images

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger

Since when is Geraldo Rivera anyone’s punching bag?

Well, since always really. But still…should he be whored out as a way to weaken a politician’s candidacy?

Texas Lt. Gov. nominee Mike Collier sent out a release this afternoon slamming his opponent, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has agreed to debate Fox News’s “Geraldo” instead of him.

“What does he have to fear?” blares the statement.

Patrick issued a tweet saying he’ll debate Geraldo.

Collier went on to call Patrick a “clown” and not “Texan enough.” OUCH!

“Wait… so Dan Patrick has agreed to a debate on Fox, but with Geraldo Rivera?” Collier asked in the statement. “Texans see right past this clown. Dan is so scared of facing Texas voters, he refuses to debate the issues in the state where he holds office and against his actual opponent, me. There’s no need to get Sean Hannity to book anything. We have an open offer from Fox on the table right now, and neither of us has to travel. Quit the stunts Dan, and stand up for yourself right here. Or are you not Texan enough?”

Collier also colorfully told Patrick to stop spitting on voters.

“If Dan Patrick had an ounce of respect for Texas voters, he would agree to the debate that has already been offered to each of us by Fox. Agreeing to debate a TV personality instead of his opponent shows a blatant disregard for the people he serves. Hey Dan, don’t spit in your constituents’ faces and tell them it’s raining.”

Both campaigns received invitations from Fox 26, the local affiliate in Houston. The debate would have been shot and recorded in Houston but aired in Austin and Dallas as well.

Even though Patrick a former broadcaster, he’s a President Trump loyalist and known for largely avoiding comment to anyone but Fox News. On his website is lots of bragging about appearing on the conservative network. Collier largely keeps Trump out of his campaign, but he wasn’t shy about badmouthing him Thursday afternoon and won’t kiss his ring.

“I’m focusing my efforts on the man I’m opposing,” Collier said in a phone call with The Mirror from Austin. “But I will say this…one of the reasons I’m going to beat Dan Patrick is he doesn’t pass the audit test. Trump fails the audit test too because he’s not honest with us about anything that I’m aware of. For me, that’s the most important thing in politics. It matters to me that he’s lying. [If] you can’t trust a man, you can trust his policies. I don’t spend a lot of time campaigning against him. My opponent is cut from the same cloth as Trump — zero integrity.”

Getting in touch with Patrick’s campaign proved to be difficult. None of his press releases have a spokesperson’s name or phone number attached. A call to the campaign to seek comment went unreturned.

Asked what he thinks about Trump demonizing the media, Collier replied, “I think it’s absolutely appalling. We’ve witnessed the destruction of truth in public discourse. It’s now pure tribal warfare. I’ll sit and read something that was written by professional journalists, both sides presented. If it’s not complimentary, he destroys it. I think it’s devastating. It’ll take many years to recover from this.”

Collier added,”Curiously…there are people in Texas that like me and Trump.”

Does he fear Trump verbally bludgeoning him and potentially hurting his race?

“No, I don’t think so,” Collier told The Mirror. “The reason I don’t campaign against him is because you only have so much bandwidth.  I’m not worried about losing voters. I’m worried about wasting time.”