Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott stopped in his chief rival’s hometown Thursday to tell local voters how Tarrant County is about to become a better place.
This community is “about to get a lot more conservative … because Wendy Davis is losing her seat [in the Texas Senate],” the Republican said during a get-out-the-vote rally at Jake’s Hamburgers downtown. “That’s one of two losses Wendy Davis will suffer in this election.”
Abbott and Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, are perceived as the front-runners in race to become Texas’ next governor. They are expected to easily win the March 4 primary and face each other in the November general election.
Abbott has made headlines recently for including controversial rocker Ted Nugent in his get-out-the-vote tour, a move Democrats continue to assail.
But Nugent was not with him Tuesday, when he encouraged Republicans to vote in the March primary and take like-minded people with them to cast their ballots as well.
“Don’t wait until next Tuesday,” Abbott said. “Get it done.”
“Ensure the state of Texas isn’t going to be hijacked by Barack Obama’s paid operatives,” he said.
So far, more than 400,000 Texans have cast their votes early in the primary. Early voting ends Friday.
Abbott made headlines last week for taking Nugent, an outspoken gun rights activist, with him on the road during the campaign.
Last week during a campaign appearance in Denton, Nugent introduced Abbott to the crowd, calling him “my blood brother” and a defender of the Constitution.
Nugent has drawn criticism for acknowledging having sex with underage girls and disrespecting others, such as calling President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
He recently apologized for the Obama slur and Abbott has indicated he’s ready to move on from the controversy.
Davis’ staff, and the Democratic Party, continue to blast Nugent’s comments as offensive and Abbott for campaigning with him. On Wednesday, her campaign sent out a statement criticizing Abbott for not admitting it was a mistake to campaign with Nugent.
“It is difficult to believe that Greg Abbott will fight for Texas values and interests when he campaigns with an admitted sexual predator across Texas,” said Bo Delp, Davis’ campaign communications director. “Greg Abbott has shown his true colors: a pattern of hostile behavior towards Texas women and a total lack of both character and judgment.”
Abbott said he has been speaking about this issue “for weeks now” and has no further plans to include Nugent in his campaign events.
“They bring it up to distract from the fact that I’m here, in Fort Worth, in Wendy Davis’ back [yard] and I am here talking about real issues,” Abbott said.
“As for what Ted Nugent said, I think what he said was wrong. I think he was wrong to say it. I think he was right to apologize and I agree with his position to clean up his language and raise the [level] of political rhetoric.”
‘Never stop fighting’
On Thursday, Abbott touched on his regular talking points — such as how his wife will become the state’s first Latina first lady if he is elected and how he has worked to prosecute child predators and fight federal overreach in Texas.
If elected governor, he said he will continue to fight the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, serve as an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment and work to ensure the voter ID law stays in place in Texas.
“I’m fighting for your constitutional rights,” he said. “I will never stop fighting.”
He said Davis has flip-flopped on Second Amendment gun rights.
Davis has said she hasn’t changed her position on guns, and that her beliefs remain consistent. She has reiterated that she supports open carry and universal background checks for gun owners. She said she keeps a small handgun in the nightstand by her bed “for safety” and hopes to get a concealed handgun license “at some point, when time allows.”
Today is the last day of early voting for the March 4 primary election. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.