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Tags: greg abbott | donald trump | texas | immigration | operation lone star | southern border | vp

Gov. Greg Abbott's Political Star Rising Thanks to Immigration

By    |   Wednesday, 24 April 2024 12:48 PM EDT

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's political star is quickly rising, thanks to an aggressive focus on immigration that has led the Lone Star leader to bus thousands of migrants to sanctuary cities and order the installation of 100 miles of razor wire along the Rio Grande.

Former President Donald Trump, now the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, has said Abbott is "absolutely" on his short list of vice president picks, while others speculate Abbott could be gearing up to accept a Cabinet position in a second Trump administration.

Time magazine named Abbott to its 2024 list of the 100 most influential people in the world last week, calling the governor "one of his party's most persuasive pitchmen" who "pushes the boundaries" when it comes to state enforcement of immigration law.

"He's been wildly successful," political consultant Vinny Minchillo, who worked on the presidential campaigns of Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told The Dallas Morning News. "Right now if you ask people to name two governors of states, it would be Gavin Newsom [of California] and Greg Abbott."

Analysts told the outlet that Abbott's success in politics can be traced back to understanding what his core supporters want.

"He's embraced the issues that hit a chord with conservative voters," Republican political consultant Matthew Langston told the Morning News. "That's why his political capital has grown enormously over the last two to three years."

Across the aisle, Democrats describe Abbott as "selfish and diabolical," and said he manipulates people and resources to promote his position on border security.

"He's spent billions of dollars in order to engage in this border security effort that he pretends will make a difference, when it's absolutely clear that what he's doing does nothing to stem the tide of immigration coming into the country," Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa told the Morning News. "It is really just for show and proves Greg Abbott only cares about one person: That's Greg Abbott."

First elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018 and 2022, Abbott is stronger today than he was at the end of his last term, when he faced the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 Texas winter storm, according to many analysts.

However, Larry Sabato, founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, stressed popularity within political circles does not always segue into popularity with the American people.

"He's not well known with the U.S. population, and that's not a criticism of him," Sabato told the Morning News. "I don't think anybody can name the governor of New York or California beyond the political community."

Senior aides say Abbott's growing national political clout is not something that is top of mind for the governor.

"His focus is on Texas and running for reelection in ‘26," Dave Carney, Abbott's chief political strategist, told the Morning News. "He's always flattered to have his name discussed, I'm sure."

Abbott spokesperson Renae Eze said the governor will continue to focus on stemming the influx of migrants at the southern border.

"This border crisis will continue until we have a president who prioritizes the rights and safety of American citizens and enforces federal immigration laws," Eze said in a text message to the Morning News. "Instead of complaining about Texas' historic efforts to respond to this ongoing border crisis and protect our country, Democrats should call on their party leader to do his job and secure the border — something the president continues refusing to do."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's political star is quickly rising, thanks to an aggressive focus on immigration that has led the Lone Star leader to bus thousands of migrants to sanctuary cities and order the installation of 100 miles of razor wire along the Rio Grande.
greg abbott, donald trump, texas, immigration, operation lone star, southern border, vp, candidate
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2024-48-24
Wednesday, 24 April 2024 12:48 PM
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