FORT WORTH — Dismissing his opponent as “Barack Obama’s ideological twin,” Attorney General Greg Abbott on Saturday expressed confidence that he will trounce Democrat Wendy Davis in the gubernatorial election in November.
“My opponent’s vision is toxic to the free enterprise principles that have elevated Texas to the very economic pinnacle of this country,” Abbott said at the RedState Gathering, a national conference hosted by the conservative blog. “Well, I have news for the Obama Democrats: Texans value life, we trust God, we disdain taxes, and Texans know that the Second Amendment and the 10th Amendment are not suggestions, they are guaranteed rights.”
In a lengthy takedown of Davis, Abbott brought up her filibuster of a bill to increase restrictions on abortion clinics that drew her national attention.
“She stood 13 hours to advocate for abortion even after five months of pregnancy,” Abbott said. “Then of all things, she went out and said she was pro-life because she wanted every child to have a chance at life. But she forgot that for a child to have a chance in life, that child first must have a chance at life.”
Asked after the speech about Davis’ television ad focused on Abbott’s 1993 dissenting opinion as a state Supreme Court judge in a case involving a woman raped by a door-to-door salesman, Abbott said, “the opinion speaks for itself.”
“There is no state official in Texas who’s done more to go after the heinous crime of sexual assault, done more to root out and end sexual assault in Texas,” Abbott said, citing the work of his office’s Fugitive and Cyber Crimes units.
Davis’ campaign has cited the case as an example of Abbott favoring corporations over people. In his opinion, Abbott argued that the Kirby Co. was not required to perform a background check on its salesmen because the company did not exert control over the independent subcontractors who sold the vacuum cleaners.
“This is yet another example of Greg Abbott siding with insiders and against Texans – even when they’re the victims of a brutal rape,” Davis spokesman Zac Petkanas said.
In his speech, Abbott outlined several policy proposals including his interest in repealing the state’s unpopular business franchise tax.
“The time has come to return tax dollars to taxpayers,” Abbott said. “Texas is known as having no income tax. Think how many more jobs we could attract to Texas if we also had no business franchise tax.”
Abbott also said he planned to increase penalties for human smuggling and remove unnecessary regulations on some businesses if elected.
Echoing Perry’s speech a day earlier, Abbott criticized the federal government's response to the recent influx of migrant children and praised the recent addition of Texas National Guard troops to the border.
Ken Paxton, a Republican state senator running to replace Abbott as attorney general, spoke immediately before Abbott and vowed to continue to file lawsuits against the Obama administration just as Abbott has done in the office.
“We’re under political assault because if they can turn Texas blue, they’ll control all federal offices,” Paxton said. “And that’s why issues like voter ID are so critical. It’s so critical that we win those fights.”
After Paxton’s speech, a member of the audience asked him about his view on whether Texas has the legal authority to secede from the United States.
“I think whether it’s legal or not, I’m not ready to go there,” Paxton said. “I feel like Texas is the key to the entire nation. … Despite Obama, I do not want him to win, and if we walk away from that fight, he wins.”