Texas Gov. Abbott endorsement of Trump possible when they team up Sunday near U.S.-Mexico border

Trump endorsed Abbott when the Texas governor faced primary challengers during his 2022 re-election. Will Abbott return the favor in the 2024 race?

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas may endorse former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination when the two team up Sunday near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The former president will join the governor on Sunday in Edinburg, Texas, for Abbott’s annual pre-Thanksgiving tradition of serving tamales to Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas National Guardsmen deployed along the southern border under the governor’s Operation Lone Star program.

Those sources also say an Abbott endorsement of Trump this weekend for the GOP presidential nomination is possible.

Trump endorsed Abbott in 2021, as the conservative governor was gearing up for re-election and faced multiple primary challenges from the right. Abbott overwhelmingly won renomination in March of last year before comfortably defeating Democratic challenger former Rep. Beto O’Rourke last November to secure a third term steering Texas.

Abbott was grateful for Trump’s early endorsement last cycle, according to those in the governor’s political orbit, and it’s possible he’ll return the favor.

Trump, who’s making his third straight White House run, is the commanding front-runner for the Republican 2024 nomination, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley currently vying for a distant second place in the polls.

Trump’s lead expanded over the spring and summer as he made history as the first former or current president in American history to be indicted for a crime. Trump’s four indictments – including in federal court in Washington D.C. and in Fulton County court in Georgia on charges he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss – have only fueled his support among Republican voters.

The former president’s trip to Texas to meet with Abbott near the border will spotlight the combustible issue of illegal immigration and border security. The issue’s long been top of mind for Republican voters, and GOP leaders and politicians for two and a half years have heavily criticized President Biden’s administration over the surge in border crossings by migrants.

Trump has pledged if he wins back the White House to launch the largest mass deportation effort in American history, would reinstate travel bans as well as his 2019 “Remain in Mexico” program, which forced non-Mexican asylum-seekers aiming to enter the U.S. at the southern border to wait in Mexico for the resolution of their cases. Trump’s also said he’d seek to end automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S. to immigrants who entered the country illegally, an idea he proposed during his administration.

Biden’s 2024 re-election campaign has slammed Trump’s “scary” proposals, arguing that it would violate the U.S. Constitution, the nation’s values, and the rights of immigrants.

Border security has also long been a top issue for Abbott, who’s sparred repeatedly with the Biden administration.

The Texas legislature, during a special session called by the governor, this week passed a controversial measure allowing state law enforcement officials to arrest suspected undocumented migrants. Democrats have pilloried the strict immigration bill.

News of the Trump trip to Texas and the potential Abbott endorsement was first reported earlier on Wednesday evening by The Messenger.