Trib Fest

Austin hosts former Trump officials, Ted Cruz, and more during Texas Tribune Festival 2019

Austin hosts Trump officials, Ted Cruz, and more during Trib Fest 2019

Ted Cruz headshot
Ted Cruz returns to the Texas Tribune Festival. Ted Cruz/Facebook

This September, downtown Austin will once again turn into a political fever dream, welcoming Democratic presidential hopefuls, big-name journalists, and former Trump White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, aka The Mooch.

On August 1, Texas Tribune Festival released its full 2019 lineup, including presidential hopefuls Julian Castro and U.S Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota); U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas); former national security adviser and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice; famous (or infamous, depending on your side of the aisle) Washington Post columnist George F. Will; David Axelrod; Karl Rove; Piper Kerman; and Alex Wagner, co-host of The Circus.

The three-day festival, running September 26-28, takes over various venues downtown for keynote addresses, live panels, podcast tapings, Q&As, parties, and more. This year's special events include:

  • A conversation with the co-founders of Supermajority: Alicia Garza, Ai-jen Poo, and Cecile Richards.
  • A discussion of public university athletics.
  • A panel on race and policing with Austin police chief Brian Manley; state Rep. Garnet Coleman; Vana Hammond Parham, former chief of community relations for the city of Dallas; and Meme Styles.
  • Tapings of featured podcasts such as Politics with Amy Walter; Matt Lewis and the News; The Weeds; Talking Feds; With Friends Like These; The TakeOut; Hacks on Tap; and Think.

And it wouldn't be Texas Tribune Fest without, you know, Texas. Among the Lone Start politicos coming to the show is San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg; Austin Mayor Steve Adler; Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price; U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Helotes); state Sens. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood); state Reps. Dan Huberty (R-Houston), Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio), Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), and Mary González (D-Clint); Texas Land Commissioner George P. BushWendy Davis; and the aforementioned chief Manley.

A panel with top Democratic candidates trying to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn for his seat in 2020 will include former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell, Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards, Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, and state Sen. Royce West.

Oh, and we can't forget about The Mooch. Scaramucci, whose brief but tumultuous tenure as communications director for the Trump White House was the stuff of legend, will participate in one of the festival's signature one-on-one conversations. Scaramucci will be joined at the festival by former colleague Steve Munisteri, who served as director of the Office of Public Liaison and as deputy assistant to President Donald Trump. Head here for the full lineup and schedule.

Trib Fest tickets and badges are currently on sale now. Prices range from $50 for students to $500 for the weekend-long Executive Pass. Check here for more details.