President Barack Obama met with seven newly elected governors late Friday, including Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott, whose state is leading a lawsuit against the president’s executive action on immigration.
Obama was actually seated next to Abbott during the meeting that included two Democrats, four Republicans, and one independent, as the president said they all have a "common interest" to promote economic growth.
President Barack Obama meets with newly elected governors in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Sitting next to Obama is Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, left. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
"That happens best when we work together," Obama said. "My main message to them is: we're here to help."
After the meeting, Abbott said he did not bring up the lawsuit during the meeting.
“Today was not the setting or the time to talk about legal issues that will be resolved in the courtroom by lawyers, the issue was not addressed,” Abbott said.
Abbott said that he raised concerns about the influx of young people arriving at the southern border.
Besides Abbott, a Republican, the other new governor-elects in the meting included Democrat Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, Republican Bruce Rauner of Illinois, independent Bill Walker of Alaska, Republican Larry Hogan of Maryland, Republican Charles Baker of Massachusetts, and Democrat Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.
The lawsuit asserts that Obama's executive action to shield 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation creates a strain on state resources and is not constitutional. Abbott was the only governor-elect in the meeting from a state that is a party to the lawsuit.
The states that joined in the lawsuit against the Obama administration regarding the executive action are Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Obama told the incoming governors he wanted help them promote education, transportation, and health and safety, all of which would improve the economy.
"This morning we had a great jobs report," Obama told the newly elected governors.
The incoming governors met earlier with Vice President Joe Biden in a working lunch, where they spoke about infrastructure, according to a news release from the office of the Vice President.
"Specifically, the Vice President emphasized the importance of partnering with states to invest in our nation’s infrastructure and workforce," the news release said. "As the vice president highlighted, investing in our nation’s infrastructure will help create millions of middle class jobs and promote economic growth in states across the country."