- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2014

Democratic Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is defending her controversial “wheelchair ad,” even after conservatives and liberals have deemed it insensitive.

Ms. Davis‘ ad sparked a wave of backlash after featuring an image of a wheelchair and referencing the disability of her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Mr. Abbott has been wheelchair-bound since he was hit by a tree while jogging in 1984. He later received a $10 million dollar settlement, which is referenced in the attack ad.

“A tree fell on Greg Abbott. He sued and got millions,” a narrator says over the image of the wheelchair. “Since then, he’s spent his career working against other victims.”

Ms. Davis held a press conference on Monday, flanked by several people in wheelchairs. She defended her controversial ad, calling Mr. Abbott a hypocrite.

“After receiving justice in the form of millions of dollars from a lawsuit, Greg Abbott has built a career kicking the ladder down behind him and denying to others the very same justice that he both deserved and received,” the Texas state senator said at her Fort Worth field office, Politico reported. “We need to call this what it is — hypocrisy. But there is example after example of it, harming the people that he is supposed to be fighting for.”

Ms. Davis‘ top adviser also defended the ad, arguing that Mr. Abbott had “prominently featured himself in the wheelchair in his ads.”

“This ad is not about Greg Abbott in a wheelchair,” Davis‘ pollster Joel Benenson said Sunday, Politico reported. “This ad is about Greg Abbott’s behavior and action with other victims after he had his opportunity and rightly sought justice and received a substantial amount of money.”

Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chasse told The Texas Tribune, “No amount of desperate spin can rescue Sen. Davis from the rightful criticism she has received over her offensive decision to air this spot.”

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