Texas Gov. Greg Abbott opened a public safety roundtable in El Paso by admitting "mistakes were made" when his campaign sent out a letter full of anti-immigrant rhetoric a day before the mass shooting at a Walmart in the border city.
However, Abbott didn't directly apologize for the fundraising letter during his brief statement, according to an El Paso Times report
that the Republican governor's letter mirrored language used by the alleged shooter, who's believed to have posted an online screed
warning of a "Hispanic invasion" of the state.
Abbott's letter asked supporters to donate money to address “a crisis at our southern border” in the form of illegal immigration. “If we’re going to DEFEND Texas, we’ll need to take matters into our own hands," the letter stated.
“Mistakes were made. And a course correction has been made," Abbott told attendees at the El Paso event, including survivors of the August 3 shooting. "I emphasize the importance of making sure that rhetoric will not be used in any dangerous way. And we will make sure that we work collaboratively in unification."
The governor added that he met with El Paso's state delegation to talk about the letter.
In an emailed statement, Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Manny Garcia said the El Paso meeting was a "step in the right direction." However, he added that Abbott must apologize to start making amends.
"[L]et’s be clear: Governor Abbott and the Republican Party’s white supremacist rhetoric, like that seen in Abbott’s fundraising mailer the day before the El Paso shooting, continues to be a major part of the problem," Garcia said. "Governor Abbott refuses to apologize for this racist fundraising mailer and won’t answer questions about ending his racist rhetoric immediately. "
Twenty-two people died and more than two dozen were wounded in the El Paso shooting.
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.