Attorney General Greg Abbott, the front-runner for the GOP's gubernatorial nomination, said Friday that no one should have been surprised by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's determination to take down Obamacare and that Texas' law that allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition should be fixed.
After speaking to a law enforcement organization Abbott told reporters that he’s “shocked that anybody is shocked” by Cruz's actions during the federal government shutdown.
"Ted Cruz campaigned every single day that he was going to go to Washington D.C., and do everything he possibly could to dismantle Obamacare," Abbott said. "Ted Cruz did exactly what the people of the state of Texas voted him into office to do, or at least he tried.”
Cruz, along with other Republicans, refused to compromise with Democrats on a budget bill to keep the federal government running unless the measure put a stop to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The impasse led to a 16-day shutdown of the federal government that ended this week.
In response to a question about a 2001 Texas law that allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition — an issue that is becoming increasingly controversial in the race for lieutenant governor — Abbott said the law should be changed.
“It’s a flawed law that needs to be fixed, and our job is to find a way to fix it,” he said.
Both Abbott and Democratic gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, were honored Friday at the annual meeting of the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, the largest law enforcement union in the state.
CLEAT President Todd Harrison gave Abbott a Belgium over/under 410 Texas edition shot gun that he was unable to accept, citing a state ethics law that forbids him from accepting a gift valued at more than $50. Abbott opted instead to have the gun raffled off with the proceeds going to police officers.
CLEAT spokeswoman Charley Wilkison estimated the value of the gun was $2,500.
The organization gave Davis its “Legislative Crime Fighter of the Year Award,” citing her work on a bill aimed at helping police officers injured in the line of duty.
“With our track record, I’m confident that we can continue to work across the aisle and around the state to deliver for Texans and make our streets even safer,” Davis told the group.
Davis left the CLEAT gathering without speaking to the media.
During his speech, Abbott said he would roll out new campaign initiatives in the next few weeks that will focus on cross-border crime and on education. He said the federal government has failed to protect Texas from cross-border crime and that he would like to put more people and technology on the ground.
Abbott faces former Texas GOP Chairman Tom Pauken in the Republican gubernatorial primary.
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