Texas Gov. Greg Abbott explained this morning on "Fox and Friends" why he decided to declare Feb. 2 "Chris Kyle Day" in the state. 

"Today commemorates the day that Chris lost his life," Abbott said. "Chris was a Texan, raised here and died here. He is a quintessential Texan. But more importantly than that, he's an American hero. We need to understand that we need American heroes. Not just as people to look up to, we need American heroes to protect us from evil, like what Chris Kyle did." 

Abbott added that Kyle should be recognized because "he is the face of so many other military heroes ... those who risk their lives, those who will do things that most Americans cannot even comprehend to make America a safer place."

"America should honor our heroes like Chris Kyle," Abbott stated.

Steve Doocy asked the Republican governor to weigh in on the negative criticism that Howard Dean, Bill Maher and Michael Moore have given "American Sniper" and Chris Kyle. 

"Well, for one, if you see the movie, you see the touching way in which Chris went about his business and his commitment to protecting his fellow soldiers and his commitment to the country," Abbott explained. "And what we need are patriots like Chris Kyle. Frankly, the reason why all these other people have the First Amendment right to criticize Chris Kyle is because he had the guts to stand up and defend this country and its Constitution."

"They should all be on their knees thanking Chris Kyle that we have the United States Constitution and the freedoms that we have in the nation to even criticize one of our soldiers."

Watch the video above.