Abbott’s migrant-bus move could win him White House: ex-Gov. Paterson

Abbott's migrant-bus move could win him White House: ex-Gov. Paterson

Former Gov. David Paterson told The Post on Monday that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s “brilliant stunt” of busing migrants from the border to New York City could win him the White House.

“This move puts Abbott right up there as a presidential contender along with former Vice President [Mike] Pence and Florida Gov. [Ron] DeSantis, if [former] President Donald Trump decides not to run again,” Paterson said of the GOP bullpen.

Democrat Paterson — who first called Republican Abbott’s decision to bus migrants to the Big Apple a “brilliant” move during a Sunday radio appearance on WABC 770’s “Cats Roundtable” — said he’s gotten no blowback from Democrats on his commentary. Abbott is seeking re-election as governor this fall.

Migrant bus arrives at Port Authority. A bus with 52 asylum seekers from Texas arrived at Port Authority.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been busing migrants from the Texas-Mexico border to New York City.
Karla Coté/SOPA Images/Shutters
Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, during a news conference following a roundtable discussion in Dallas, Texas, US, on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is running for re-election in the fall.
Shelby Tauber/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Former Governor of New York David Paterson on stage during the 29th Annual Achilles Gala Honoring president and CEO of Cinga David Cordani with "Volunteer of the Year Award"  at Cipriani South Street on November 20, 2019 in New York City.
Former New York Gov. David Paterson said Abbott’s busing move is “brilliant.”
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

“A couple of people thought it was funny,” Paterson said, just hours after yet another bus of migrants arrived from Texas to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.

The former New York governor said Abbott’s move was the equivalent of a political grand slam with Republican voters.

Paterson likened it to Trump’s campaign vow to build a wall along the border with Mexico to help curb illegal immigration.

“Was it a political stunt? Yes. Was it effective? Yes. Sometimes, the stunt works,” Paterson said.

“Abbott did something to improve his political standing by making his case about the border problem in a dramatic way. Within the Republican Party, it was a brilliant move.”

He added, “Sometimes you have to accept that your opponent has scored a point here.”

Paterson, who served as New York governor from 2008 to 2010, emphasized that he doesn’t agree with what Abbott is doing and echoed Mayor Eric Adams’ concerns about whether the migrants are being humanely treated during transport.

Migrants arrive by bus to Port Authority Bus Terminal early Friday, Aug. 12, 2022.
Migrants arrive by bus to Port Authority Bus Terminal early on Aug. 12.
Georgett Roberts

Still, Paterson said Democrats must do a better job of communicating and defending their position on immigration.

“This is one of the issues we have to find a way to turn around. A lot of these migrants are trying to escape tyranny,” he said.

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