Wendy Davis is not walking away from her provocative new wheelchair ad.
During a Monday press conference featuring speakers in wheelchairs, the Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate reiterated the attacks in her ad against her paraplegic opponent, Republican Greg Abbott, which critics have called insensitive.
Asked by a reporter if she is exploiting Abbott’s disability, which is the result of a 1984 accident where a tree fell on him, Davis said, “This ad is about one thing. And one thing only. It’s about Greg Abbott’s hypocrisy.”
“Greg Abbott rightly sought justice for himself when he sued a tree company and a homeowner and he received a multimillion dollar settlement in his suit,” Davis said. “And ever since, in his role as a public servant, Greg Abbott has shown time and time again that he has worked to deny that same justice to others.”
The ad, which the campaign released Friday, references the accident that paralyzed Abbott. It then accuses him of spending his “career working against other victims” while serving as a Texas Supreme Court Justice and as attorney general.
Before Davis spoke on Monday at her Fort Worth campaign office, several disabled people in wheelchairs spoke to the crowd in support of Davis, while criticizing Abbott.
Responding to the ad on Friday, Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said, “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.”
The Abbott campaign has addressed the cases made in the ad, saying the campaign “recycles debunked claims.”
Davis is launching the ad as most polls show Abbott leading in the polls by double digits. The RealClearPolitics polling average has Abbott up 11 points.
Here’s a screenshot taken from the live stream of the event: