"It doesn't matter what the name is, I take everybody very seriously, and it shows," Abbott said of McConaughey while speaking on a segment on Fox News Sunday. "I will tell you two things, and that is if you look at my polling numbers, they are very, very strong. In addition to that, I have $55 million in the bank already, and I’m a very aggressive fundraiser."
"So I will have the resources and the backing of a lot of people across the state of Texas to ensure that whoever decides to run against me, we will be able to win," the Republican governor went on to state.
As of earlier this month, Abbott was favored by 39% of Texas voters, while McConaughey was favored by a similar, yet lesser 38% in a hypothetical matchup, according to a poll from the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler. The governor, however, holds a large 45%-33% margin over failed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who has not yet ruled out a gubernatorial bid.
In March, McConaughey revealed he had given a move for political office "honest consideration" and vowed to employ an “aggressively centric" approach if he commenced the run. He has yet to publicly announce his candidacy.
"I would say, as far as running, I’m not until I am. So my decision hasn’t changed because I’m still not. Am I giving it honest consideration? Yeah," the actor told the Austin American-Statesman at the time. "I’d be a fool not to. And it’s an honorable consideration. I still have to answer the same question for myself and my family. Honestly. Is that the truest and best category for me to be most useful? I’m ready to step into a leadership position in this next chapter of my life, but I don’t know that that’s in politics."
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz last month characterized McConaughey as a “formidable candidate” if he chose to run.
"I hope Matthew decides not to run" against Abbott because “I am a big fan of Greg Abbott. He was my boss for five and a half years. He’s a close friend and mentor," the Texas Republican concluded.
Abbott has his challengers from within his own side of the aisle as former GOP state Sen. Don Huffines announced his candidacy in May after lambasting the governor for instituting COVID-19 lockdown measures during the onset of the pandemic.
"It is time to face the facts: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has not been a leader in the coronavirus crisis," he wrote in an April 2020 op-ed. "He has relinquished his responsibilities to local governments, and in his own words, acknowledged he is looking to Washington for guidance. This is a very disappointing and un-Texan response."
Representatives for McConaughey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.