Texas Democrat Wendy Davis, of abortion filibuster and hot pink sneakers fame, has responded to claims she “blurred” – embellished, lied, misled, misrepresented – facts about the “life story” she touts on the campaign trail as she seeks to be the next governor.
In an open letter published on her campaign website Tuesday, Davis, the leading Democrat in the gubernatorial race, blamed her GOP opponent Greg Abbott for a “sleazy political trick” and “false attacks” on her “story of a single mother who worked hard to get ahead.”
“[Y]ou’re damn right it’s a true story,” Davis wrote, after questions arose from a Dallas Morning News story that pointed out inconsistent, omitted, and some unflattering key facts about her bio.
Davis had claimed she was 17, pregnant, got married, then divorced at 19, at which time she moved in to a trailer park with her daughter.
The reality, according to the article, was “Davis was 21, not 19, when she was divorced. She lived only a few months in the family mobile home while separated from her husband before moving into an apartment with her daughter.”
Davis, while pressing how she lived in a trailer, worked hard and sent herself to Harvard Law School before starting her political career, also has failed to mention just how much financial help she received from second husband, Jeff Davis, 13-years her senior and with whom she had a second daughter with, to achieve that accomplishment.
Jeff Davis, who told the News he was “making really good money then, well over six figures,” paid for his new wife’s last two years at Texas Christian University and then “cashed in his 401(k) account” to send Davis to Harvard and “eventually took out a loan to pay for her final year there.”
His thank you? She filed for divorce as soon as the loan was paid off.
“It was ironic,” Jeff Davis told the newspaper. “I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left.”
Although Wendy Davis “acknowledged some chronological errors and incomplete details in what she and her aides have said about her life,” in her interview with the Dallas paper, the criticism continued, forcing Davis to pen the open letter, but putting solid blame on Abbott.
As our campaign has gained momentum, our opponents have gotten more and more desperate. But now they’ve stooped to a new low by attacking my family, my education, and my personal story – playing politics with the journey that has been my life.
Mine is a story about a teenage single mother who struggled to keep her young family afloat. It’s a story about a young woman who was given a precious opportunity to work her way up in the world. It’s a story about resiliency, and sacrifice, and perseverance.
And you’re damn right it’s a true story.
Throughout this campaign, I’ve shared that story – not because it’s unique, but because it isn’t.
The story of my life is also the story of millions of single mothers who feel alone in the world, millions of young dreamers searching for their chance to become something more than what they were born into, millions of families all across Texas who would sacrifice everything to give their children a better future.
It’s those stories – your stories – that drive my campaign. But Greg Abbott and his allies don’t want to hear them. They don’t have anything to offer Texans who find themselves in the same difficult situation I was in when I was young. They would slam the doors I walked through and pull up the ladders I was lucky to be able to climb.
And now, instead of offering real ideas to improve your life, they’re attacking mine.
It won’t work. The only thing Greg Abbott and his allies have proved with these desperate attacks is that they don’t understand what it means to live a life like mine – a life like that of so many people all across our state.
They don’t know me – and, what’s more important, they don’t know you.
I’m not surprised that the Abbott campaign would resort to attacking the story of a single mother who worked hard to get ahead.
And I’m not afraid of their false attacks – I developed thick skin long before anyone knew my name.
What I am is deeply proud of the life I’ve built and the daughters I’ve raised – and deeply grateful to the many, many people who have shared their stories and offered their support as I’ve traveled our state.
No false attack can take away my story. And no sleazy political trick will stop me from giving voice to yours.
Your stories are why I’m running for Governor. And together, I know we’ll make sure that the Texas we leave to our children is a place where every young mother can build a better life for her child. . . where every family can work their way up the economic ladder. . . where every Texan can achieve their dreams and live out their own success story.