Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley is tying herself to U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, despite the fact that the congressman has been censured by the Republican Party of Texas for violating their principles.
On a trip to South Texas this week, Haley called Gonzales the “Border King,” saying no one understands the border more than him.
“If he is not in every single immigration conversation in Congress, something is wrong,” said Haley.
Just last month, however, Gonzales was formally censured by the Texas GOP in part for his opposition to border security efforts.
Gonzales failed to join Republicans in supporting the Border Safety and Security Act of 2023, which called for the secretary of Homeland Security to prevent illegal aliens from entering the country.
He has also come under fire for threatening to vote against the debt ceiling if House leadership brought “anti-immigrant bills” to the floor.
Chris Russo, the president of Texans for Strong Borders, says Haley’s association with Gonzales is “emblematic of her out-of-touch campaign.”
“His active and public opposition to meaningful reforms that would help secure the border and dismantle the legal edifice hampering enforcement of federal immigration law disqualify him from any serious discussions around this policy area. Far from a ‘border king,’ he isn’t fit for the role of court jester,” Russo told Texas Scorecard.
“The magnitude of the challenge we face at the border threatens the safety and security of all Americans and all Texans. Instead of boldly meeting that threat with action, Rep. Gonzales continues to engage in the same smear tactics as the left to scuttle his fellow Texans’ common-sense solutions to the crisis we face,” he added.
Despite launching her campaign in February, recent polling shows Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, with the support of only 4 percent of Republican voters in Texas.
Gonzales, meanwhile, has already gained multiple primary opponents in the Republican Party.