A Republican lawmaker seeking reelection in 2018 is being reminded of his vicious attacks on Donald Trump while Trump was the Republican nominee for president.
State Rep. Jason Villalba (R–Dallas) is being challenged by conservative businesswoman Lisa Luby Ryan. Ryan is reminding local voters about Villalba’s nasty rhetoric. After Texas’ Republican primary in March of 2016, Villalba penned an op-ed attacking Trump:
“[My] country cannot accept that Donald Trump represents me — a true Republican. Trump is a disgusting blight upon the American Experience. He is hateful and ugly and a disease to be eliminated,” Villalba wrote. “I will not vote for him, and I will work tirelessly to ensure that he is never the representative of the Republican Party that I stand for.”
Villalba’s own legislative record is anything but conservative. Indeed, he routinely votes with the Democrat Caucus to thwart a majority of his own party. As a result, Villalba earned a dismal “42” on the 2017 Fiscal Responsibility Index, the worst of Dallas County Republicans. The highest-rated House Democrat in 2017 earned a “36.”
Villalba often deflects criticism of his own record by calling for “party unity.” But Villalba refused to support Trump, even against Hillary Clinton.
“Others shall claim that we must unify in the name of the party. To them I would say: If Trump is the standard bearer of the party, then I am no longer a member. Will I vote for a Democrat? Of course not. But I shall never stand with a bigoted, orange, buffoonish, ignorant ape as my representative.”
In the same breath, Villalba tried to paint Trump as a modern progressive:
“[Trump] has promised to raise taxes, usher in an age of abortion on demand, appoint liberal activists to the Supreme Court, solidify Obamacare…require all states to adopt Common Core…and reduce the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms.”
All of Villalba’s predictions have been proven wrong. Trump signed into law the largest tax cut bill in more than 30 years, and has publicly opposed taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, a proponent of textualism and originalism.
Trump publicly supported a full repeal and replace of Obamacare when the full repeal bill was before Congress. Senate Republicans failed to pass the full repeal.
Lastly, Trump has refused to respond to any irrational calls from Democrats and media pundits for “gun control” legislation. But as recently as 2017, Villalba called for Texas lawmakers to form a gun control commission.
Villalba is known less for supporting conservative legislation than for nasty rhetoric and rants that even he acknowledged are “inappropriate” and “beneath the dignity” of a state lawmaker.
On March 6, Republican primary voters in House District 114 will decide whether or not to retire the vitriolic Villalba.