Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, claimed on Tuesday that Americans were “fleeing” to his state to take advantage of its business-friendly climate.
“700,000 people fled California. When you consider the beautiful climate out there, it’s something else to imagine 700,000 fleeing there,” Abbott said during an interview on Fox and Friends.
“You have people fleeing Illinois, New Jersey, other states because they’re trying to get away from the things that hamstring capitalism and hamstring their ability to start and grow a business,” Abbott continued, speaking from Davos, Switzerland where he is attending the World Economic Forum.
Texas has long touted its business-friendly policies to encourage people to move to the state. As far back as 2013, then-governor Rick Perry urged Californians to relocate to his state in a series of advertisements.
“We want businesses to come into the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “We want fewer regulations, lower taxes, [and] we want to make it easy for businesses to be able to succeed because we understand something in Texas that it seems like some other states do not and that it is when your business succeeds in Texas, we as a state succeed.”
A joint study by the Los Angeles Times and University of California at Berkeley revealed that just over half of registered voters are considering leaving the state. 40 percent of those considering a move were conservative, while just 14 percent were liberal. Some of those moving told the Times part of the reason was to live in a more-conservative political climate.