Chad’s Morning Brief: Wendy Davis Goes On The Offensive, Few Surprises at the State of the Union, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of January 29, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
10 days after Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News broke the story about the personal history of Wendy Davis, the Davis campaign can’t stop talking about it. According to the Texas Tribune, Davis unloaded on Greg Abbott last night and blamed him for a smear campaign.
Saying she’d “had enough,” state Sen.Wendy Davis unloaded on Attorney GeneralGreg Abbott on Tuesday night, blaming him and his allies for waging a smear campaign against her family and warning he had picked a fight with the “wrong Texas gal.”
Abbott’s campaign could not immediately be reached for comment. A day after the publication of a Dallas Morning News story questioning some of the details her personal story, Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch said Davis had “systematically, intentionally and repeatedly deceived Texans for years about her background, yet she expects voters to indulge her fanciful narrative.”
Davis’ remarks on Tuesday night were the most direct, personal and sustained criticism the Democratic candidate for governor has leveled at her expected Republican opponent so far.
“They know they cannot defend their public record,” Davis said of the attorney general and his allies. “So they’re attacking my private life.”
Davis was speaking at a boisterous, sold-out fundraiser for the Travis County Democratic Party, serving as keynote speaker at the Johnson-Bentsen-Richards dinner at the tony Four Seasons hotel in downtown Austin.
But for the last 10 days, her campaign has been rocked by criticism about the way she characterized her early biography, which stressed her struggles as a single mother. Davis acknowledged she got a couple of details wrong, in particular the age at which she and her first husband divorced. It was 21, not 19, as she had previously stated.
On Tuesday night, Davis attempted to forcefully reclaim that narrative while criticizing Abbott on a range of policy issues and promising to change the direction of Texas, where Republicans control every statewide office and both houses of the Legislature.
“Greg Abbott and his allies have had a stranglehold on power in this state for two decades, and they want to keep it,” Davis said. “But now they’re hearing all of those voices they shut out and silenced for so long.”
Davis said she had a message for her opponents: “You can attack my record. You can challenge my ideas. You can play holier-than-thou with my life story,” she said. “But I draw the line when it comes to lying about my family.”
She said her detractors had “mangled the story of my life” by suggesting that she had abandoned her children to attend Harvard Law School and, later, had somehow lost custody of her children.
“I never gave up custody of my children. I never lost custody of my children,” she said. “And to say otherwise is an absolute lie.”
According to divorce records, she and her husband were granted “joint conservatorship” of her child, Dru, who was a teenager at the time. She continued to live with her father, Jeff Davis, in the house the couple had shared. Wendy Davis moved into an apartment and paid child support after her second divorce was final in 2005, records show.
“Greg Abbott and his folks have picked a fight with the wrong Texas gal if they think that I will shrink from working to fight for a just and right future for all Texans,” she said. “I will keep fighting hard — no matter what the other side throws at me.”
Wendy Davis is living on another planet if she really thinks Greg Abbott is the one responsible for the truth coming out. Wayne Slater stated publicly that he never spoke to the Abbott campaign about his story. I also don’t think that Slater would be considered an Abbott guy.
A Forgettable Speech
Well that was a boring and forgettable speech by the President. Last night’s State of the Union speech was light on details and policy. In fact many of the issues President Obama addressed had been brought up before. According to FOX News the President talked about working together while still threatening the use of executive orders.
President Obama closed his State of the Union address with a subtle plea for bipartisan accord — and he got that within minutes as supporters and critics agreed that he delivered a speech that included neither surprises nor grand plans.
“There wasn’t a lot in the speech,” said Charles Krauthammer, a conservative pundit and Fox News contributor.
“I’ll work with the president … and anyone who wants to get people back to work,” Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said after the speech.
But speaking on Fox News, he also complained Obama was taking a “my way or the highway” approach by saying he’d bypass Congress to push his agenda, sounding more like a “bully” than someone looking to work with lawmakers.
The president’s roughly 60-minute speech was essentially what the White House had promised Americans for the past several days — a call to improve education, expand domestic and clean energy and end U.S. involvement in overseas war.
“None of it is easy,” Obama said in closing. “But if we work together; if we summon what is best in us … I know it’s within our reach.”
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin told MSNBC, “I thought it was a good speech, bringing us together.”
As for Obama saying he would veto any congressional bill to impose more economic sanctions on Iran, amid talks to slow that country’s nuclear program, Manchin said he agreed to such a plan “only as a hammer. But we’ve got to give peace a chance.”
Perhaps the best example of the president staying off the attack — to the disappointment of other Democrats – was his message to Republicans and other critics about his signature health-care law.
“I don’t expect to convince my Republican friends on the merits of the law,” he said. “But let’s not have another 40-something votes to repeal the law. … We got it.”
“It was a … positive speech,” said California Democratic Rep. John Garamendi.
On Obama’s call for Congress to pass immigration reform, Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy said, “I am glad to see the president give a strong push for the House to finish what we began.”
What did you think about the President’s speech?
Other Top Stories:
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