This Week in Texas Politics: Abbott Heads to Cuba While Cruz Tours Iowa

Gov. Greg Abbott goes to Cuba to increase trade relations between the Lone Star state and the Communist island nation while Sen. Ted Cruz stumps in Iowa as a lead-up to the caucus, planned for February 1.

By Rhonda FanningNovember 27, 2015 2:49 pm

Texas Tribune editor Emily Ramshaw, our go-to guide for navigating the tangle that is Texas politics, says Gov. Greg Abbott is in for an interesting trip on his post-Thanksgiving trip to Havana. Of course, the irony here is that many Republicans did not like the Obama administration working with Castro’s administration, but the Republican governor of the reddest state in the nation is one of the first to seize the moment.

“When you saw a lot of Republicans jumping out to criticize the Obama administration’s move to normalize relations with Cuba, Abbott was not among them,” Ramshaw says. “That was pretty prescient because now he’s heading down there to see what’s in Cuba for Texas.”

Yet a Texas politician with real Cuban ties is spending his holiday weekend in Iowa, to lay groundwork for the upcoming caucus.

“Good ol’ Ted Cruz is headed to Iowa for a swing that’s going to involve something like 14 different stops,” Ramshaw says. “He’s really putting all his eggs in one basket when it comes to Iowa.”

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.