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Democrats Call Out Abbott's "Third-World Country" Remarks

Democratic lawmakers are criticizing Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, through social media for his use of rhetoric in which they say he compared South Texas to a third-world country.

Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott talked about border security, criminal justice and other issues during his "Securing Texans" address in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2014.

Democrats are calling out Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, through social media for remarks in which he compared corruption in South Texas to similar practices in a "third-world" country.

Battleground Texas, a Democratic group working to increase voter turnout and make Democrats competitive in the state, has led the march against Abbott’s comments and launched a Twitter campaign, “Somos Texas,” or “We Are Texas,” to denounce his comparison.

“Texas is made up of all kinds of people, and we don’t accept hostile divisions,” Battleground Texas posted on Twitter Wednesday evening.

Earlier this week, Abbott released new policy proposals in which he called for increased border security through increased boots on the ground and high-tech equipment. In his remarks, Abbott referred to recent drug cartel bribery investigations in South Texas that allegedly involve a state district judge and others.

“The creeping corruption resembles third-world country practices that erode the social fabric of our communities and destroy Texans’ trust and confidence in government,” Abbott said on Tuesday.

Since the attorney general’s announcement, Democratic lawmakers are now following suit in criticizing what they see as Abbott’s comparison of South Texas to a third-world country.

“Only a 3rd rate view would think my farming community of Palito Blanco & all South TX is like a 3rd World,” Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, posted on her Twitter account.

Garcia also responded to a supporter saying Abbott did not deserve to be elected.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, denounced Abbott’s remarks through a photo posted to his Twitter account which included the following text: “For the record, South Texas is not ‘third world.’ A real Texas leader understands that we are all Texas.”

Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, wrote on his Facebook that Abbott’s comparison of the Rio Grande Valley to a third-world country was offensive and called on the attorney general to issue an apology.

“Personally, I find his political rhetoric deeply offensive and unbecoming of someone who seeks our [state’s] highest office,” Canales wrote. “The RGV is an economic powerhouse, populated by hard workers with strong family values, and we are anything but third world. In my humble and sincere opinion Greg Abbott owes South Texas an apology.”

On Tuesday, the campaign of Abbott’s expected Democratic opponent, state Sen. Wendy Davis, quickly responded with a statement criticizing Abbott’s positions and his rhetoric.

“Abbott even went as far as comparing the Texas border to a Third World country,” said Davis spokeswoman Rebecca Acuña. “Unlike Greg Abbott, Sen. Davis has a strong record of fighting for all Texans.”

Other Democratic groups also come out against Abbott’s remarks, including the Texas Democratic Party, Texas Young Democrats and the Harris County Democratic Party.

The Abbott campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

Update (2:30 p.m.):
The Abbott campaign declined to comment on Democrats' criticism of the attorney general's remarks.

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