Democratic nominee Wendy Davis just premiered a brutal new ad in the Texas gubernatorial race, accusing Republican opponent Greg Abbott of having worked against the rights of plaintiffs and the disabled in the courts — despite having won a multi-million dollar settlement when an accident put him permanently in a wheelchair 30 years ago.
"A tree fell on Greg Abbott; he sued and got millions. Since then, he's spent his career working against other victims," the announcer says, before launching into examples of some less flattering rulings made in Abbott's career.
Abbott, who has been heavily favored to win the race in deeply Republican Texas, has previously run ads that invoked his disability. This included one emotional spot in which he spoke about physically training himself by climbing up through a parking garage, and another in which he pitched his transportation plan by saying, "a guy in a wheelchair can move faster than traffic on some roads in Texas."
Abbott has been a strong supporter of tort-reform efforts to limit punitive damages. He has maintained in the past that a person suffering a similar accident would still have access to the justice system — though other observers including his former lawyer, now a political critic, have disagreed. Watch the ad in full below. --Eric Kleefeld
Update: The Abbott campaign is hitting back, the Houston Chronicle reports, calling it a "historic low." Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chasse said: "Sen. Davis' ad shows a disturbing lack of judgment from a desperate politician, and completely disqualifies her from seeking higher office in Texas."