The Lone Star State has more than a lone contender in the GOP presidential race, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pointed out — but he isn't yet declaring a favorite.
Abbott appeared Sunday on "Face the Nation,"
where host Bob Schieffer noted that Abbott's predecessor in the governor's office, Rick Perry, is expected to make a second bid. Then there are Sen. Ted Cruz and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who was born and raised in Texas.
"I would not be surprised if they all run," Abbott said, but added there are a couple of more names Schieffer left out.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul both are Texas natives, Abbott pointed out.
"The odds favor that the next president, at least the Republican nominee, is going to have a Texas connection," he said.
But Abbott wouldn't commit when asked if he has any idea who will win or if he has someone he wants to back.
"I'm looking for the best candidate who can assure conservative agenda is going to be achieved for America," he said.
That would include being committed to following the Constitution, Abbott said, and securing the southern border.
It was Abbott, then Texas attorney general, who filed the lawsuit joined by 25 other states to stop President Barack Obama's executive actions granting legal status to millions of people in the country illegally.
A Texas federal judge last week granted an injunction halting implementation of those actions while the administration appeals.
Abbott said the case will go to the Supreme Court eventually, but that the issue isn't immigration as much as Obama's executive overreach.
He said the immigration problem stems from the federal government refusing to do its job to secure the border in the first place.
"We all saw what happened on the Texas border last summer, but we need to understand the problem is not going away," he said. "Already this calendar year, since January 1, we've had more than 20,000 people come across the border, apprehended unauthorized."
Abbott is continuing Perry's efforts to secure Texas' part of the border, he said.
"I'm going to add more than 500 more department of public safety officers, more Texas rangers, more technology," he said. We are coming out of our own pocket, Texas taxpayers' pockets, of securing the border, doing the job the federal government must do."
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