Is Greg Abbott on Trump's VP shortlist amid human rights crisis at border?

Eagle Pass, Texas - Donald Trump's shortlist for vice president just keeps getting longer.

Former President Donald Trump (l.) shakes hands with anti-migrant Governor Greg Abbott during a visit to Eagle Pass, Texas, on February 29, 2024.
Former President Donald Trump (l.) shakes hands with anti-migrant Governor Greg Abbott during a visit to Eagle Pass, Texas, on February 29, 2024.  © REUTERS

Texas' far-right Governor Greg Abbott has reportedly joined the ranks of Republicans Trump is considering as a running mate in 2024, the ex-president told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday.

The GOP frontrunner called Abbott a "spectacular man" and said "he's done a great job."

"Yeah, certainly he would be somebody that I would very much consider," Trump added.

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"So he's on the list?" Hannity asked, referring to potential VP candidates, to which Trump responded, "Absolutely, he is."

The revelation came during Trump's trip to the town of Eagle Pass on the Texas-Mexico border, where Abbott has engaged in systematic human rights violations via his Operation Lone Star. These anti-migrant abuses have included erecting dangerous floating barriers and razor wire designed to deter people seeking asylum from entering the country.

Trump was full of praise for the Republican governor's actions at the border, saying he had "really stepped it up."

The admiration is apparently enough to land Abbott on the ex-president's VP shortlist. Other prospective candidates reportedly include South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Representative Byron Donalds, former Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, New York Representative Elise Stefanik, and Ohio Senator J.D. Vance.

Texas' Greg Abbott shares his thoughts on VP prospects

Republican Greg Abbott has said he plans to run for a fourth term as governor of Texas.
Republican Greg Abbott has said he plans to run for a fourth term as governor of Texas.  © REUTERS

In an interview with CNN last week, Abbott downplayed the odds that he will end up in the White House next year.

"I think there's so many people other than myself who are best situated" to be Trump's running mate, the governor said.

Abbott told CBS that he intends to run for a fourth term at the helm of the Texas state government rather than pursuing any potential vice presidential ambitions.

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"I've already thought about running for reelection again and I can tell you from the people talking to me here today, taking pictures with me today, same thing I hear every day, Governor please stay in Texas, please run again," he told reporter Jack Fink.

"That's what I hear every day from my fellow Texans and that's what I intend to do."

Donald Trump and Joe Biden's race to the bottom on immigrants' rights

President Joe Biden speaks with border patrol agents at the US-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas, on February 29, 2024.
President Joe Biden speaks with border patrol agents at the US-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas, on February 29, 2024.  © REUTERS

The same day that Trump visited Eagle Pass, President Joe Biden made his own trip to Brownsville on the Texas-Mexico border.

The incumbent Democrat used the occasion to push a bipartisan border package, rejected by Trump and his supporters in Congress, which would severely clamp down on the right to seek asylum and boost law enforcement presence in the region.

While Trump has said he would launch the largest-ever deportation scheme if reelected, Biden has by no means been a champion of human rights at the border.

The president's administration has instituted an inhumane asylum ban as well as waived dozens of environmental laws in order to fast-track construction of Trump's border wall.

As if that weren't enough, Biden has vowed to "shut down the border" on day 1 if the bipartisan package reaches his desk.

The 2024 Democratic frontrunner faced criticism during his Brownsville visit for scheduling meetings with law enforcement and local officials but not with immigrants' rights groups.

On top of infringing on migrants' basic right to seek asylum, the Biden administration's increased militarization of border communities is making many South Texas residents feel less safe.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS

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