The PJ Tatler

Texas AG Candidate Smitherman Forced to Walk Back Unwise Slam on GOP Gov Frontrunner

It doesn’t take a political genius to see the problem with this:

The Houston Chronicle reported last week that Barry Smitherman, the Texas Railroad Commission chairman and Republican candidate for attorney general, made the remark in a League of Women Voters election guide.

“Child support division accounts for over half of the Attorney General’s budget,” Smitherman said in the guide. “I’ve been told some staff have become disinterested paper pushers, no longer working to ensure the best interests of the child are met. I will make certain that mothers and fathers are receiving mandated visitation rights so that the parent-child relationship is maintained with both parents.”

AG Abbott replied that under his watch, Texas’ child support division has climbed to number one in the nation.

Smitherman had to walk his criticism back:

On Tuesday Smitherman’s campaign said his comment in the voters guide was taken out of context, and that he was only rehashing what he had been told by others.

He praised Abbott’s work.

“Barry Smitherman thinks that General Abbott has done an amazing job as attorney general and with his child support collection record,” said Jared Craighead, a spokesman for Smitherman. “Barry has no argument with General Abbott’s record.”

“Rehashing what he had been told by others…” Shouldn’t he have checked things out before saying what he said?

Abbott is running for governor, and is likely to be the GOP nominee against Democrat Wendy Davis. Her campaign and its allies are likely to use Smitherman’s criticism against Abbott in the general election. The commercials will practically write themselves — “Even his fellow Republicans are criticizing Greg Abbott’s record on child support enforcement! Can you really trust Greg Abbott?”

Heckuva job…