Last week Denton County GOP Chair Dianne Edmondson made crude personal attacks against Wendy Davis in the party's weekly newsletter calling her “Abortion Barbie” and referred to Sen. Van De Putte as her Hispanic running mate; this week she doubled-down at a forum with every candidate for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General.
“Can y'all image if Abortion Barbie is our next Governor,” Edmondson said to which you can hear audible replies of, “No” from the audience. Not a single candidate has addressed or denounced the language. In both hotly contested races candidates have struggled to draw distinctions, and this was an enormous missed opportunity to show real leadership.
Edmondson said, “y'all, I do not think we can take it for granted that Greg Abbott is going to win. There is a very strong ticket running against him, two women.” Fear can cause irrational behavior and it's clear that the efforts of Democrats, Battleground Texas and the Davis campaign are causing GOP officials to lash out in a desperate smear campaign. This tacit support of vile and objectifying name-calling lowers the bar for Texas politics, and further solidifies Democrats narrative of a “war on women” in the state.
Read the full comments and see the video below the jump…
Full quote from video:
So we can't take for granted just because Greg Abbott will have an “R” after his name he will be our next Governor. Can y'all imagine if Abortion Barbie is our next governor? I don't even want to think about that, so please help us elect whoever our slate of Republicans s starting at Greg Abbott…But y'all I do not think we can take for granted that Greg Abbott is going to win. There is a very strong ticket running against him, two women. One of whom is very much in favor of abortion you may have noticed, the other is appealing to a demographic we're trying to appeal to which is the Hispanic community because she is Hispanic. That looks like a pretty good ticket.
Being “very much in favor of abortion” is a pretty incredible distortion of Davis' position of being in favor of prevention and reproductive freedom. Texas was just given an F- with regards to women's reproductive health and rights in a study that focused on, “effectiveness, prevention, affordability, and access.” Given that such programs save the state millions Edmonson may want to reevaluate her own commitment to fiscal conservativism. It would also be wise for Edmondson to note the fact that Texas leading the nation in repeat teen pregnancy means more young women in our state face the reality of that tough decision because her party refuses to focus on prevention and education based on science and health considerations over blind ideology.
Regarding the “ticket,” Edmondson needs to realize Governor and Lt. Governor do not seek office as running mates, but represent independently and respectfully, the highest and 2nd highest offices in the state. Both deserve that respect, especially in a formal setting like a forum that includes candidates for one of those offices. Furthermore, Sen. Van De Putte is not appealing to Hispanics “because she is Hispanic,” but because she is a credible candidate with a record of representing that community well.
We can agree on one thing thanks to the tone deafness of Texas GOP officials and the increasing likelihood of history repeating itself — no one can take a Greg Abbott win for granted.
You can follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.