Paxton in victory lap interview with Tucker Carlson slams establishment’s John Cornyn and Karl Rove
By News Editors // Sep 22, 2023

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) torched establishment Republicans Karl Rove and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) during an interview with Tucker Carlson following his acquittal on impeachment charges in the Lone Star State and floated a potential primary challenge to Cornyn in 2026. 

(Article by Nick Gilbertson republished from

Carlson asked Paxton “what percentage of his time” Rove, who authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed in August titled “The End Is Near for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton,” spends “trying to destroy Republicans?”

Paxton responded, “a good part.”

“I mean, my view is that his [Political Action Committees] PACs have gone after conservatives for a long time, under the guise of being, you know, a PAC that goes after Democrats, but I don’t view him as an ally of Republicans,” Paxton said. 

Carlson went on to ask Paxton why “is it so threatening” to the Republican establishment when a Texas conservative advocates for “real borders.” In response, Paxton pointed to the group Texas Lawsuit Reform (TLR), and specifically one of its board directors, Dick Weekley: 

The only I can think of, you know, you look at guys like Dick Weekley, he’s a homebuilder and he’s one of the leaders of TLR, I mean, I think they think illegal immigration is a good thing. It helps their business. And obviously, I don’t agree with that. I think it’s devastating to my state. And if we want to have a program we’re going to bring workers in from other countries let’s get some legislation to do it the right way instead of just opening our borders to who knows who.

Carlson zoned in on Cornyn regarding illegal immigration, wondering why he is not “outraged and upset” about the effect it is having on Texas, prompting Paxton to observe Cornyn has been “vacant on this issue.” 


“Look, I have no idea why he doesn’t seem to address this on a regular basis. Thank God Ted Cruz has, but John Cornyn has been basically vacant on this issue,” Paxton told Carlson, adding: 

To me, he’s been in Washington too long. He’s been there for what, 14 years or so? And I can’t think of a single thing he’s accomplished for our state or even for the country, let alone the fact that we have a massive invasion into our state, and he doesn’t speak out against it. I’ve never seen a proposed legislation that significantly affects it, or at least push hard for it. I haven’t seen him in that fight.” 

Paxton spoke in more detail about Cornyn’s history in Texas and national politics, agreeing with Carlson’s accusation that he is “a puppet of the Bush family.” Specifically, Paxton pointed to the “Robin Hood” plan as an example of Cornyn doing the Bush family’s bidding when he served on the Texas Supreme Court. 

“He’s the guy that pushed through our Robin Hood plan. He did it judicially by judicial activism for the Bushes instead of passing legislation because they didn’t want to pass legislation because President Bush was running for president,” Paxton said, adding it was done “illegally” in his opinion: 

Cornyn did it judicially, I think completely illegally, and turned our schools into very mediocre prospects because… it took the rich school districts, took their money, and put it with the state, and then the state was supposed to give that to the poor school district. The problem is it made all of them mediocre. Instead of letting the good school districts be good and focusing on the ones that needed more help, John Cornyn created a socialistic network, and really, I think he hurt our schools… and hurt our ability to educate our kids, and he got away with it. No one ever talks about it, but he did that for the Bushes, and for that… they made sure he was [Attorney General of Texas for one term and then a U.S. senator. So he got paid off, and now whenever they ask him to speak, criticize me when I’m running against George P. Bush, or criticize me when I had this happen, he does what they asked him to do. He is a puppet of the Bush and Karl Rove team. 

Paxton said that Cornyn has “just has never had real competition” for his seat in a Republican primary and asserted Cornyn’s record is lacking in support and advocacy for Texas. 

Carlson asked earlier if Paxton would consider challenging Cornyn in 2026. The attorney general said, “everything’s on the table for me,” and floated a potential candidacy: 

Now that I’ve been through this, and I’ve seen how guys like John Cornyn have represented the state of Texas and not represented us, I think it’s time somebody needs to step up and run against this guy that will do the job and do it the right way and represent us and worry about  what’s going on at the border.

Carlson followed up, asking Paxton what comprises Cornyn’s voting base. Paxton pointed to the Republican establishment in Washington, DC, and particularly Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as reasons he has remained in office.

“You know, he’s just been fortunate… because of the money from D.C., the support from guys like Mitch McConnell, I think he is he’s been able to stay there. I think those days are over,” Paxton concluded. 

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