Described as a "white nationalist" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, Charles Murray was cited in part one of Greg Abbott's education plan.
Yet while campaigning in San Antonio, the Republican candidate for governor criticized the campaign of his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis.
"They get involved in petty things like looking at some comment that someone may have made who was cited in a footnote" said Abbott.
The footnote referred to a quote from one of Murray's books, "Family background has the most decisive effect on student achievement, contributing to a larger performance gap between children from economically disadvantaged families and those from middle class homes."
However, critics have said Murray in the past has claimed blacks and Latinos, women and the poor are genetically inferior.
Abbott did not address those statements, instead he said, "You'll see that I have quoted in there, cited in there and referenced in there, another person far more, and that is Barack Obama."
He also said Murray has been quoted by national media, and recognized as being among those who "define the contemporary intellectual debate about social policy."
Bo Delp, a spokesman for the Wendy Davis campaign, referred to Abbott's association with rocker Ted Nugent, and the equal pay for women issue in Abbott's office of the attorney general.
Delp said, "After campaigning with a sex predator and paying women less than men in his office, it is no surprise about Abbott doubling down in defense of Murray."