Just yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) called for a second special session of the Texas Legislature, specifically in the hopes of passing sweeping and legally dubious new restrictions on abortion rights. The Republican governor said such a move is necessary because “Texans value life.” (Perry’s administration executed a 52-year-old woman a few hours later.)
This morning, Perry followed up the move with a speech at the National Right To Life conference, where he chose to discuss state Sen. Wendy Davis’ (D) personal background. Igor Volsky posted this remarkable clip:
For those who can’t watch clips online, the Texas governor said, in reference to Davis:
“[E]ven the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”
In the same remarks, Perry added, “The louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done.”
The Washington Post’s James Downie summarized the problem well this morning, noting, “I don’t care what your stance on abortion is. Using an opponent’s teen pregnancy in any debate is unbelievably vile.”
I’ll confess that when I saw some emails about Perry’s comments, I thought someone must have made a mistake. The Texas governor is out there, but is he really that far gone?
Alas, the quotes are real. This really is Perry’s character on full display.
How’s that outreach initiative going, Reince?
Update: Wendy Davis responded to Perry’s comments with the following statement: “Rick Perry’s statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds. They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view. Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test.”