EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott says "mistakes were made" when he sent a fundraising letter that called on supporters to "defend Texas" from illegal immigration.

The letter from Abbott's campaign was dated a day before a gunman targeting Mexicans killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso. But the mailer didn't surface until last week and was condemned by the Texas Democratic Party as racist and anti-Latino.

Abbott said Thursday he told El Paso lawmakers there's been a "course correction" and that he "emphasized the importance of making sure the rhetoric will not be used in any dangerous way."

Those same lawmakers also criticized Abbott for tweeting that "liberals" on the U.S. Supreme Court require Texas to pay for schooling students not in the U.S. legally. The Democrats called the tweet dangerous.