Texas Gov. Greg Abbott surrounded himself with fast food sandwiches to sign the “Save Chick-fil-A” bill into law.Photo: Twitter/Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is getting called a “pathetic liar” after he posted misinformation on Twitter that said that President Joe Biden is trying to take people’s hamburgers away.
Pivoting from defending Chick-fil-A to defending McDonalds, Abbott posted a Fox News screenshot to Twitter that said “Biden’s climate requirements” include a mandate to “cut 90% of red meat from diet” and for Americans to eat “one burger per month,” maximum.
Related: This governor surrounded himself with Chick-fil-A when he signed an anti-LGBTQ bill
“Not gonna happen in Texas!” Abbott tweeted defiantly.
The problem? Biden never proposed any such measure. Fox News and Fox Business ran at least five segments over the weekend about the supposed climate requirements, accusing Biden of trying to force Americans to eat fewer burgers, even though that never happened.
“Americans are going to have to cut their red meat consumption by 90% in order to reduce emissions to hit Biden’s target,” said Fox’s Jesse Watters on Saturday. “That means you’re only allowed to eat four pounds of red meat a year. That adds up to a burger a month. That’s it.”
The conspiracy theory-debunking website Snopes rated the claim as “False.”
On Twitter, Abbott got dragged in the comments for misinforming Texans.
It’s not happening anywhere, you pathetic liar, because it’s not in Biden’s climate plan.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 25, 2021
State a problem that doesn’t exist.
Complain loudly about the nonexistent problem.
Blame the nonexistent problem on Democrats.
Say only Republicans can fix the nonexistent problem.
When the nonexistent problem never materializes take credit for it.
— Kate Smith (@KateSmithAZ) April 25, 2021
Embarrassing that the Governor falls for a completely fake story by Fox News via the Daily Mail. I will expect him to retract this and offer an apology. But not holding my breath.
— (((Howard Forman))) (@thehowie) April 26, 2021
The false claim, according to CNN Politics, came from the British tabloid The Daily Mail, that discussed a 2020 research paper from the University of Michigan that calculated how greenhouse gases could theoretically be reduced if various measures are taken.
Biden has said that he wants to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but he never said anything about restricting meat consumption. The 2020 research paper has no connection to Biden administration policy. They’re just both about the same general topic, which was apparently enough to get The Daily Mail and Fox News to say that Biden will ban burgers.
Gov. Abbott wasn’t the only Republican to repeat the false claim. Anti-LGBTQ politicians like Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) did as well.
“The Hamburglar,” Greene wrote, referring to Biden. “No burgers for thee, but just for me.”
“Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?” asked Boebert.
Joe Biden’s climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) April 24, 2021
Even Donald Trump Jr. jumped on the bandwagon, claiming that he ate four pounds of meat in the previous day.
In 2019, Gov. Abbott signed a “Save Chick-fil-A” bill after the city of San Antonio denied the fast food chain a contract to open a restaurant at its airport, partly due to Chick-fil-A’s attacks on LGBTQ equality.
“Discrimination is not tolerated in Texas,” Abbott said while signing the law, surrounded by Chick-fil-A food. He claimed that Chick-fil-A’s “religious liberty” was violated when it was denied the contract.