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Best way to combat political low blows - respond with class

Wendy Davis on the floor during her filibuster for abortion.
Wendy Davis on the floor during her filibuster for abortion.
Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Wendy Davis has been hitting the headlines for days now, between questions about her biography, her campaign funding, and the latest wrinkle was a video released by James O'Keefe and Project Veritas. O'Keefe has made headlines before, primarily for hidden video coverage of political misdoings, and issues at voting polls across the U.S. Since Battleground Texas - an organization started by former Obama campaign workers - settled into the Lone Star State, conservatives have been wary of them engaging in questionable tactics to place more Democrats in office there.

Since Battleground Texas attached itself to the Davis campaign, it was only a matter of time before video evidence of their behind the scenes planning would hit the internet. O'Keefe's video depicts conversations about tactics the organization plans to use to support Davis, but also includes some very ignorant personal statements against Davis' opponent, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. What was particularly disgusting was the fact that someone stated that the campaign could use Abbott's disability against him. He is a paraplegic.

Of course, this lead to a great deal of smear statements from conservatives across the country, via Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Davis was already a pet target, because her current claim to fame is her failed filibuster in support of abortions on demand. Immediately before the video surfaced today, Davis had been called on lies she told about her past, since she's represented herself as a teen single mother that pulled herself up to get where she is now. She failed to mention that the majority of her law education at Harvard was paid for by her second husband, or that she left him the day after he made the final payment on her school loans. Davis, in spite of having no evidence to back her claims, blamed Abbott for this information coming to light. So, the O'Keefe film, while not directly from the Davis campaign, is essentially like her doubling down on her previous bad actions over her biography issues, especially since Wayne Slater - the writer of the article exposing her lies - publicly stated that he had no contact with the Abbott campaign.

While all of this is very damning for Davis, it's not likely that she will quietly step aside anytime soon. However, she has gotten an example of how to respond to mudslinging with class - Abbott responded to the O'Keefe film as follows:

AUSTIN – Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott today released the following statement regarding the release of Project Veritas' video featuring Battleground Texas and Sen. Wendy Davis' campaign:

“The content of the video denigrating the disabled is unworthy of our great state. Despite the distraction, I will continue my efforts to help all Texans rise in life and achieve their dreams. I will be a Governor who fights for all Texans – for children, small business owners, families, and entrepreneurs – a Texas that includes all.

That's exactly what I have been doing – while in a wheelchair. I've fought for more and better jobs, I've defended Texas and taxpayers from an overreaching federal government, I've protected children from predators to keep our communities safe, and I've successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court to defend Texas values.

It's that demonstrated ability and character that motivated Texans to elect me to statewide office five times. My service is a reminder of what Texans can achieve, regardless of their circumstances. Texans know that I will continue to fight for the greatness of Texas.”

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