The PJ Tatler

Greg Abbott: 'I Didn't Invent that phrase 'Don't Mess With Texas' but I've applied it more than anyone else.'

And with that, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott kicks off his run for governor.

Abbott formally launched his campaign Sunday afternoon in San Antonio. The long-time attorney general has taken the Obama administration to court 27 times on cases regarding ObamaCare, upholding Texas’ popular voter ID law, and over EPA regulations aimed at Texas industries.

Another Greg Abbott fact: Greg Abbott actually does have a steel backbone.

Abbott, fresh out of law school, was jogging through Houston’s River Oaks neighborhood on July 14, 1984, when a 75-foot oak tree suddenly splintered at its base, striking him in the back and partially paralyzing him. Abbott sued the homeowner and a tree company that had worked in the area and collected millions.

He has since become a proponent of limiting civil litigation in Texas and capping the amount of damages that can be awarded. Opponents have called him a hypocrite, but Abbott has largely shrugged off such criticisms. He rarely speaks about his accident, but chose to Sunday.

“Piecing my life back together began with doctors piecing my vertebrae back together,” he said, noting physicians inserted rods in his back. “Too often, you hear politicians talk about having a spine of steel. I actually have one.”

It was nice of the Houston Chronicle to work the left’s “hypocrite” charge into its story about Abbott’s injury. And by “nice,” I meant to say “insidious.”

Abbott has built up a massive war chest and a highly skilled campaign staff well ahead of Sunday’s announcement. His record on issues including Second Amendment rights, abortion and pretty much everything else puts him right in the sweet spot for Texas voters. He’ll face opposition in the Texas GOP primary from former state party chairman and respected leader Tom Pauken.

On the Democratic side, the Texas Democrats haven’t won a statewide race since 1990, and no one has formally declared for that party’s gubernatorial nomination. State Sen. Wendy Davis is the only Democrat with any name recognition statewide, but she now has an opponent for her own Senate seat in Konni Burton. If the Texas Democrats hang their prospects on a failed filibuster against a bill that enjoyed widespread support across the state, coupled with the news that the Democrats’ allies tried to bring jars of feces into the capitol last week to protest against that law as it passed, they can expect their losing streak to continue. They will be following a dynamic similar to the one they followed in the Rick Perry era. The Democrats insulted him and derided him and all of his voters and supporters while they insulted and belittled the Texas economic success record. Interstates 35 and 45 are littered with the Democrat candidates and campaigns that tried and failed to defeat him.

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