Dan Patrick: 5 Facts About Texas Lt. Gov. Who Thinks Seniors Would Be Ready To Die To Save Economy

TX Lt. Governor Dan Patrick's belief that grandparents would willingly die to save the US economy from tanking is getting horrified clap backs. Here's what you need to know about the controversial lawmaker.

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Elderly Americans would be happy to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of the economy, according to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The Republican lawmaker, 69, shared his controversial view during a March 23 interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, arguing that Americans should go back to work despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a move that would endanger “grandparents” like himself — a class of people most at risk if they contract the coronavirus. “My message is that let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to living. Let’s be smart about it,” Patrick said. “And those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves. But don’t sacrifice the country.” Patrick, a vocal Donald Trump ally, echoed remarks made by the president earlier that day — that he’s aiming to reopen businesses in weeks, not months.

Trump argued, without evidence, that continued closures and stay-at-home orders could result in more deaths, due to the impact on the economy, than coronavirus itself. Patrick, who is about to turn 70, said that, “No one reached out to me and said, ‘as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in. That doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that. I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me. I want to live smart and see through this, but I don’t want the whole country to be sacrificed. Amid the controversy, here’s what else you should know about Patrick and his political views:

1. He became Texas’ Lt. Governor in 2015 after nine years as a senator. Patrick was elected to the Texas State Senate in 2006 after first weighing a run for the House. He created a Tea Party caucus in the state legislature, becoming one of Texas’ biggest political players. He became lieutenant governor in 2015, running on a platform with education as his biggest issue. He won reelection in 2018.

2. His political views are controversial. Patrick opposes abortion, including in cases of rape and incest. He helped pass the 2011 Mandatory Ultrasound Bill, which requires that Texan women receive a sonogram 24 hours before an abortion. Patrick is also a creationist and supports teaching creationism in school. He opposes same-sex marriage, and attempted to pass a “bathroom bill” in 2016, which would require transgender students to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender they were assigned at birth.

3. He discovered Rush Limbaugh. Patrick had a successful career in the 1980s and 1990s as the host of Dan Patrick & Friends, a Houston and Dallas-based radio talk show. One of his most notable decisions as a popular radio personality was signing Rush Limbaugh to his station, AM 1160 KVCE, in 1989. Back then, Limbaugh was a little-known pundit who eventually grew into the broadcasting legend he’s known as today. And it’s thanks, in part, to Patrick.

4. He’s an ardent defender of Donald Trump. While Patrick back Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the 2016 race, he has come to be one of Trump’s biggest supporters. Patrick said in a 2018 radio interview that he considers Trump and Ronald Reagan the “two greatest presidents of [his] lifetime.” He called Trump “very, very bright. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met in politics. He’s able to analyze things so quickly.”

5. He started out as a sportscaster. Long before he was a politician, Patrick was famous i the early 1980s as a local sportscaster. He was popular for stunts like painting his entire body blue to support the Houston Oilers, and wearing an oversized cowboy hat during his broadcasts.

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