Abbott: More Twitter Troubles

Gubernatorial candidate makes another social media gaffe

Greg Abbott
Greg Abbott
Dave Carney's Too Stupid tweet
Dave Carney's "Too Stupid" tweet

Texas Democrats hope that Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, will be their next Ann Richards. Maybe they should be hoping that her likely GOP rival for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, will be the next Clayton Williams.

Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis (Photo courtesy of Jana Birchum)

For those too young to remember, Williams was a shoo-in to be governor in 1990 until he compared rape to bad weather, saying, "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it." Voters recoiled from the misogyny and propelled Richards to the governor's office. It seems Abbott and his team are hell-bent on pulling a Claytie for 2014. On Sept. 12, Abbott campaign consigliere Dave Carney tweeted a link to a story by Austin-based right wing firebrand blogger Robbie Cooper entitled "Total Recall in Colorado (and why Wendy Davis is too Stupid to be Governor)."

So far, Davis has been silent on the insulting tweet. In fact, she still has not confirmed that she will even run for governor. However, the Texas Democratic Party quickly fired back at Carney and his boss. In a statement, Executive Director Will Hailer said, "It's clear that Abbott's advisers are following a strategy of offending every woman voter in the state of Texas. A woman who worked her way from a trailer park to graduate from Har­vard Law School with honors is anything but stupid."

This is Abbott's second social media disaster in less than a month. On Aug. 17, he thanked Denton-based attorney Jeff Rutledge for his support after Rutledge called Davis "Retard Barbie." Abbott quickly back-pedaled, saying that "I thank supporters on Twitter, but I don't endorse anyone's offensive language." This time he distanced himself from the claim that Davis was too stupid to be governor, and insisted that he was concentrating on small business issues, not blanket insults. But his lead GOP challenger, former Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken, has added fire to his own campaign by saying Abbott is increasingly weak against Davis.

It's more bad news for the once-unstoppable Carney: For years Gov. Rick Perry's go-to campaign guy, he's coming off not one but two failed presidential nomination campaigns in 2012 – Perry and Newt Gingrich – and has now brought extra media scrutiny on Abbott's campaign. Meanwhile Cooper, with his trademark charm, simply tweeted, "Dear Leftist Media – when the revolution starts, while some are storming DC, some of us will be bringing our ropes to your offices."

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

News, Wendy Davis, 2014 Election, Ann Richards, Clayton Williams, Dave Carney, Robbie Cooper, Will Hailer, Texas Democratic Party, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Twitter

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