Wendy Davis is a one-trick pony whose only claim to fame is that she filibustered a bill to stop abortions in Texas all the way up to birth. Appearing at a fundraiser with Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood abortion business, won’t help her change that image with voters.
Wendy Davis has found it difficult to escape the label of one-issue candidate, and her star-crossed campaign did her no favors Tuesday night.
Davis, who rose to national attention with an 11-hour filibuster against abortion restrictions, has tried to broaden her campaign appeal by emphasizing other subjects — public education and payday loan abuses, highway funding, health care and, most notably, an inspirational up-from-poverty personal life story.
Her personal story ran into a stiff headwind last week when The Dallas Morning News raised questions about her account.
On Tuesday night, the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful was paired with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards in the bright lights of a ballroom stage at a party fundraiser — highlighting the very subject the Davis team wants to play down.
Instead of de-emphasizing abortion, Davis was sharing the venue with the nation’s leading advocate of abortion rights.
Instead of talking about campaign successes, Davis found herself 10 days after the newspaper story first appeared defending the details of her life story. Her campaign sought to stem the damage by releasing open letters from Davis’ two daughters vouching for their mother’s story.
Organizers decided to bar the press from the ballroom in what seemed like an ill-conceived effort to control the message. The room was too crowded, reporters were told.
A live online stream of the speeches was arranged by the Travis County Democratic Party, sponsor of the annual fundraising bash, through the Texas Tribune, a news website. But the arrangement made it difficult to report a fuller account of the evening, which apparently was the idea.
Richards, daughter of former Gov. Ann Richards, told the crowd of Travis County Democrats that Davis faces opposition reminiscent of the 1990 race by her mother, the last Democrat to be elected governor in Texas.
As Davis campaigns to become governor of Texas, she is undertaking a campaign to play down her fierce support of abortion on demand and her infamous filibuster of a bill to stop abortions up to the day of birth in Texas.
Davis’ attempt to jump from abortion activist to Texas governor is failing so far, as a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll has the pro-life state Attorney General leading her so far.The poll finds Greg Abbott leading Davis in the race for governor, 40% to 34%. In a three-way race against Davis and Libertarian Kathie Glass, Abbott’s lead remains at 5 percent, 40-35 percent.
As a result, Davis is continuing her campaign to reform her image as an abortion activist as she attempts to moderate her extreme views enough to placate a Texas electorate that is solidly pro-life. Davis has already downplayed her pro-abortion views and is attempting to focus on other political issues, and attempted to pull a fast one in her campaign for governor by declaring herself “pro-life.”
Yet, during a speech recently, Davis called abortion “sacred ground” and indicated she may run for governor. Later, she indicated she thinks pro-life women “don’t understand” abortion and she showed she has no understanding of the Kermit Gosnell case.
The last Democrat to be elected Texas Governor was Ann Richards in 1990. Since then, the Democratic nominee has lost every gubernatorial election.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is seeking the GOP nomination to replace pro-life Governor Rick Perry, who is not planning to run again next year. Prior to assuming the office of attorney general, Abbott was a justice on the Texas Supreme Court and was appointed by former Texas governor and President George W. Bush.
At age 26, Abbott was struck by a falling oak tree that injured his back as he jogged by. He has used a wheelchair ever since and has become an eloquent pro-life advocate — speaking up for both the disabled and the unborn.
The accident serves as a reminder that regardless of someone’s circumstances, he or she deserves a chance at life, Abbott has said.
“As I laid there motionless on the ground, gripped with pain, as helpless as a child in the womb, I knew my life had changed forever,” he said at the National Right to Life convention in June.. “Some people think it’s easy to write off the lives of the disabled or the different. But every day, God reminds us that all life has value, no matter the form.”
Abbott, a rising Republican Party star, who is pro-life on abortion, is the leading contender with Perry not running. Abbott already has millions in the bank for a statewide bid.