When campaign fundraising totals for the Texas governor's race were announced on Tuesday, Wendy Davis' team celebrated that their $12.2 million haul bested Greg Abbott's $11.5 million. Abbott's team accused her of "fuzzy math" for counting $3.5 million donated to the Texas Victory Committee, which splits its funds between the Davis campaign and the turn-Texas-blue group Battleground Texas, as part of her grand total.
The real score, they said, was Abbott $11.5 million, Davis $8.7 million.
This morning, Fox News contributor and conservative pundit Erick Erickson cut through the arcane and kind of boring fundraising debate to deliver a more salacious bit of news about the Texas governor's race: "Wendy Davis's Campaign Mocks Greg Abbott for Being Paralyzed."[jump]
Given the close relationship between the Davis campaign and Battleground Texas, holding one to account for the actions of the other is fair game. But would Battleground Texas, which is run by seasoned political operatives who worked on President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign, really be so stupid as to make fun of Abbott, who was paralyzed at the age of 26 when an oak tree fell on him while jogging, for being in a wheelchair?
No. Erickson's evidence is a Townhall.com column taking issue with an October 2013 email blast from Battleground Texas.
"Greg Abbott walks into a house in El Paso and says, 'There is nobody in the state of Texas who has done more to fight to help women than I have in the past decade,'" the email begins. "Great joke, right?"
The joke, as the rest of the email makes clear, is not about Abbott walking. It's that, despite his claim to be battling for women, "Abbott has tried to defund women's health clinics across the state. He refuses to say whether he supports equal pay legislation. He thanked a supporter who tweeted deeply offensive remarks about Senator Wendy Davis. And he compared Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization."
In other words, Battleground Texas -- and, by extension, Davis' campaign -- is guilty of dumb word choice but innocent of anything more nefarious. That said, when attacking Abbott, they would be wise to avoid any verbs implying physical action.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.