The PJ Tatler

Abbott Camp Fury After Wendy Davis Crosses the Line, Again

A new Wendy Davis campaign ad “exploits” the accident that left Texas Attorney General and Republican governor nominee Greg Abbott paralyzed for life, according to the Abbott campaign.

The ad, called “Justice,” seeks to paint Greg Abbott as a hypocrite. Instead, it paints the Davis campaign as unethical and extremely desperate. It’s surely one of the most negative political ads in Texas history, which is saying something.

The Abbott camp hit back very hard this afternoon. In a press statement, spokeswoman Amelia Chasse struggled for words to make sure that her statement is strong enough to convey the campaign’s outrage.

AUSTIN – Texans for Greg Abbott Deputy Communications Director Amelia Chasse today released the following statement in response to Sen. Davis’ new television ad exploiting the accident that left Greg Abbott paralyzed:

“It is challenging to find language strong enough to condemn Sen. Davis’ disgusting television ad, which represents a historic low for someone seeking to represent Texans. Sen. Davis’ ad shows a disturbing lack of judgment from a desperate politician, and completely disqualifies her from seeking higher office in Texas.”

The same press statement notes that Davis’ campaign has built up a history of running smears instead of discussing ideas. Some of those Davis smears turn up in the ad which is stirring up anger today.

Abbott Filed His Briefs In The Baylor Plano To Defend The State Medical Malpractice Law As The Plaintiffs Are Challenging That Law’s Constitutionality. “Abbott filed motions to intervene in three separate federal court suits brought against Baylor Plano by former patients of Dr. Christopher Duntsch. … The suits challenge the constitutionality of a state law that requires the plaintiffs to prove that Baylor acted with actual intent to harm patients.” (Doug J. Swanson, “Abbott Sides With Baylor Hospital In Neurosurgeon Lawsuit,” Dallas Morning News, 3/25/14)

  • “Specifically, Abbott’s Motion Defends The Constitutionality Of House Bill 4, An Omnibus Tort-Reform Bill Passed In 2003.” (Bill Hethcock, “Attorney General Greg Abbott Aligns With Baylor In Plano Hospital Lawsuit,” Dallas Business Journal, 3/26/14)

“Abbott’s Motion Says He Is Intervening To Defend The Constitutionality Of The State Statute,” Not The Hospital, The Surgeon Or Their Conduct. “Abbott’s motion says he is intervening to defend the constitutionality of the state statute. A spokeswoman for Abbott said in an emailed response to questions from the Dallas Business Journal that the Attorney General’s Office is not defending Baylor Plano, Duntsch or their alleged conduct.” (Bill Hethcock, “Attorney General Greg Abbott Aligns With Baylor In Plano Hospital Lawsuit,”Dallas Business Journal, 3/26/14)

The Abbott campaign also reminds everyone that the Davis campaign’s previous attacks have even drawn fire from the mainstream media.

Houston Chronicle: “Carries The Chance Of A Backlash That Could Doom The Long-Shot Campaign…” “While political strategists and experts praised the boldness of state Sen. Wendy Davis’s new ad accusing Attorney General Greg Abbott of ‘siding with a corporation over a rape victim,’ some said it carries the chance of a backlash that could doom the long-shot campaign.” (Houston Chronicle, 8/9/14)

MSNBC’s Zachary Roth: “A Risky And Unusual Strategy That Could Alienate Voters…” “But it may also be a sign of the campaign’s weak position: Leading off with a negative ad is a risky and unusual strategy that could alienate voters before they’ve given Davis a chance.” (MSNBC, 8/11/14)

The Week: “A Very Risky Gamble… Made More Controversial By The Fact That The Davis Camp Admitted On Friday That It Had Not Spoken To The Victim Before Releasing The Spot…” “But the Davis campaign’s decision to run an ad accusing the Republican Abbott of ‘siding with a corporation over a rape victim’ is a very risky gamble, indeed. … It’s a dark missile of an ad, made more controversial by the fact that the Davis camp admitted on Friday that it had not spoken to the victim before releasing the spot, notes the Houston Chronicle.” (The Week, 8/9/14)

Houston Chronicle’s Patrick Svitek: “Risks Alienating Swing Voters…” “It’s a tough-as-nails ad that risks alienating swing voters for baiting Abbott into slinging back the mud.” (Houston Chronicle, 8/8/14)

  • Svitek: “But It Could Especially Backfire On Davis.” “It’s Political Science 101, but it could especially backfire on Davis.” (Houston Chronicle, 8/8/14)

Houston Chronicle: “The Davis Campaign Shows That It Thinks Partisan Political Goals Should Supersede The Woman’s Own Agency…” “By ignoring a sexual assault survivor, the Davis campaign shows that it thinks partisan political goals should supersede the woman’s own agency – the very sin her filibuster was supposed to target.” (Houston Chronicle, 8/14/14)

  • “Texas Is Watching A Campaign’s Slow Motion Transformation From Idealistic Underdog To Exhausted Cynic…” “There is a world of difference between a statewide law and a single campaign ad, but it feels like Texas is watching a campaign’s slow motion transformation from idealistic underdog to exhausted cynic.” (Houston Chronicle, 8/14/14)

There isn’t a whole lot to add to that. Davis has always been an underdog in the Texas governor’s race because she is running as an Obama Democrat in a Republican state. But her decision to jettison any notion of running a clean and positive campaign, and instead import attack dogs from the likes of Harry Reid, has scraped off any shine that her campaign could ever have had. Add to that Davis’ own ethical clouds and her admission that if she is elected she will not work with the legislature or within the state constitution, and will impose Obamacare against the majority of Texans’ will. Translation: Wendy Davis will ignore the people’s representatives in Austin, to do the Democratic Party’s bidding.

Davis’ tactics and choices, and her inevitable defeat, will leave nothing for the Texas Democrats to build on.