Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis shared the stage at a recent campaign event with a fellow Democratic state lawmaker who mocked the disability of state Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running against Davis for governor.
“And then we have this guy who kind of just rolls around thinking that he can get tort reform for himself but take it away from everybody else in the state of Texas,” said state representative Dawnna Dukes at the event which was held Saturday in Pflugerville, just east of Austin.
Dukes’ remarks were filmed and uploaded to YouTube.
The Democrat’s reference to Abbott “just [rolling] around” was a likely jab at Abbott’s confinement to a wheelchair. In 1984, when Abbott was 26 years old, a tree fell on him during a thunderstorm and left him paralyzed. He was awarded a multi-million dollar judgment for the injury.
Democrats have cited those events to claim that Abbott is a hypocrite. They say that even though he won money from that lawsuit Abbott has pushed for tort reform and sought to cap payouts in lawsuits. Abbott has said that he was awarded lost wages and that he did not seek punitive damages in the lawsuit.
Though it is unclear if Davis overheard Dukes’ remarks at Saturday’s rally, she did thank her colleague when she took the stage. Davis also sent a tweet after the event thanking Dukes and the other lawmakers in attendance.
— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) October 26, 2014
Judging by Dukes’ Facebook account, the two lawmakers are more than just occasional campaign supporters. The background of Dukes’ social media account is a picture of her posing with Davis. Other pictures show the two standing side-by-side at an equal pay rally in April.
Dukes’ comments on Saturday would not be the first time that Democrats have either politicized Abbott’s wheelchair or outright mocked it.
Davis came under intense scrutiny herself earlier this month when her campaign aired an ad that began with the image of a wheelchair. Like Dukes’ comments, the ad was meant to paint Abbott as a hypocrite. Political observers generally saw the ad as a desperate move by a flailing campaign. Most polls have her trailing by double digits. (RELATED: Wendy Davis Uses Greg Abbott’s Wheelchair Against Him In New Ad)
Abbott’s injury was the focus of more mean-spirited Democratic taunts earlier this year when the conservative muckraker James O’Keefe recorded organizers with the Democratic group Battleground Texas making fun of Abbott’s wheelchair.
“I really wonder how this is going to work out since he’s in a wheelchair since and most of the slogans are ‘Stand with Wendy,'” one staffer was recorded saying. (RELATED: Wendy Davis Supporters Mock Greg Abbott’s Wheelchair, Ignore Voter Fraud)
“First of all he’s not good looking, he doesn’t speak very well, he doesn’t have a good personality and he’s in a wheelchair,” said another campaign worker.
Davis did not venture into Dukes’ territory or that of the wheelchair ad. Instead she slammed Abbott’s education plan and encouraged early voting in a brief five minute speech.