AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — With less than a month to go before the Texas governor’s election, a new television ad by Democrat Wendy Davis focuses attention on Republican Greg Abbott’s use of a wheelchair, accusing him of not siding with victims like himself.
The 30-second ad, which the Davis campaign said Friday would start running across the state, drew a swift rebuke from Abbott’s campaign, which called it “disgusting” and “desperate.”
Abbott, the state attorney general, lost the use of his legs after his spine was crushed when a tree fell on him while jogging in 1984. Abbott’s own ads have drawn attention to his disability, most notably in spots in which he talks about his recovery and uses the chair to roll past cars stuck in bad traffic.
But the Davis ad is the first by the Democrat to address it and comes in the final three weeks before the election.
Titled “Justice,” the ad notes that Abbott sued after his accident and collected millions. Then it criticizes Abbott as working against victims in other disability cases. In one case, Abbott argued that an amputee suing for employment discrimination was not disabled because she had a prosthetic limb.
“Greg Abbott. He’s not for you,” a narrator says.
Two other cases cited by the new ad have already been the subject of previous Davis campaign spots.
“It is challenging to find language strong enough to condemn Sen. Davis’ disgusting television ad,” Abbott campaign spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said. “Sen. Davis’ ad shows a disturbing lack of judgment from a desperate politician, and completely disqualifies her from seeking higher office in Texas.”