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Texas Gov. Abbott: Trump Hit a Nerve But Not Using 'Right Tone'

Texas Gov. Abbott: Trump Hit a Nerve But Not Using 'Right Tone'
(REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec)

By    |   Monday, 13 July 2015 03:55 PM

Donald Trump has deeply tapped in to the concerns of Americans on the subject of immigration — but the billionaire developer is going about it the wrong way with his politically incorrect tough talk, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tells Newsmax TV.

"Either all or almost all of the presidential candidates are talking about this very important issue about immigration and about the border. The tone of what Trump has said has not been the right tone," Abbott said Monday on the "Steve Malzberg Show."

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"It wouldn't be the tone that I would've adopted, but he is emphasizing what a lot of Americans are concerned about and that is the fact that we have a broken immigration system, a porous border.

"People are tragically losing their lives, they shouldn't be and something needs to be done about it."

Trump, who last month joined the crowded field of candidates seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has been under fire for his comments about Mexican immigrants who cross the border illegally, branding many of them as criminals.

Even so, his poll numbers have skyrocketed with a Reuters-Ipsos poll released on Saturday revealing he has the support of 15.8 percent of self-identified Republicans compared to 16.1 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Abbott said the Lone Star State is "tired" of the federal government "not doing its job" on protecting America's borders.

"Which is why, as governor in my first term, we passed the most sweeping and the toughest border security law any state has ever passed. We put $800 million, more boots on the ground, more airplanes in the air, more boats in the water to make sure we secure our border," he said.

"We are doing the federal government's job. We will stand up and fulfill and assume the responsibility. We expect the federal government to pay for what Texas is doing."

Appearing later on "Newsmax Prime," Abbott said he has exposed some of the border problems himself when he served as Texas attorney general.

When women and children from Central America were flooding across the border last spring and summer, most them had paid Mexican drug cartels to help them pass through the country.

"Sometimes, the women would be raped, they would be forced into human trafficking," Abbott said. "Some of the children were forced to commit crimes against other children. So it's just horrific what these people have gone through and if we really want to show compassion, we need to make sure that we shut down the cartel and human smuggling, human trafficking activities so these people will not be victimized the way they are."

Trump has been critical of Abbott's predecessor, Rick Perry, charging that the former governor didn't do enough to secure borders. Asked by Malzberg if he agreed with Trump, Abbott demurred.

"Candidly, I haven't seen exactly what he said. All I can say is that it is absolutely essential that we secure the border. We've seen the consequences of an insecure border and the next president of the United States has to do what Barack Obama and his predecessors have failed to do and that is to ensure that we secure the border," Abbott said.

Abbott also revealed that he has not yet endorsed any of the more than dozen GOP presidential candidates.

"I have not yet. Here's what I've done: I want to make sure that we elect a genuine conservative for the next president," he said.

On "Newsmax Prime," Abbott also touted his own work helping lure jobs to Texas, saying he cut taxes by more than $4 billion and investing $800 million in border security.

"We spent more on education and we spent more than $4 billion to build out our road infrastructure all while spending less than the revenue that we have, so we have a savings account of over $10 billion," he said.

Washington, D.C., doesn't work as well because Congress and the president don't talk to each other, and there is too much regulation, he said.

"Look what's going on with Dodd-Frank, with the EPA, with Obamacare," Abbott said. "They want to spend all your money, they want to overregulate your lives.

Abbott was asked whether a nuclear deal that allows Iran to sell its oil will hurt Texas, the governor said, "We've been here before, we'll be here again."

Such a deal might have a short-term downslide, "but it'll go right back up because of the world we'll continue to grow," he said. "We'll be just fine in the energy sector in Texas."

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Donald Trump has deeply tapped into the concerns of Americans on the subject of immigration — but the billionaire developer is going about it the wrong way with his politically-incorrect tough talk, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tells Newsmax TV.
greg abbott, texas, donald trump, immigration, border
Monday, 13 July 2015 03:55 PM
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