June 27th, 2013
12:28 PM ET
10 months ago

Texas senator hijacked Democratic process, says Perry

(CNN) – The Texas state senator who filibustered a measure placing strict new curbs on abortion was operating outside the normal procedures for passing legislation, the state's Republican Gov. Rick Perry asserted Thursday.

Perry also claimed Democrat Wendy Davis was ignoring her own past as the daughter of a single mother in her bid to prevent abortion rights from being restricted in the Lone Star State.

"I'm all about honest, open debate," Perry said at a national "Right to Life" convention in Dallas. "Parliamentary tactics are certainly nothing new. But what we witnessed Tuesday was nothing more than the hijacking of the Democratic process. And this is simply too important a cause to allow the unruly actions of a few to stand in its way."

Davis stood and spoke for 13 hours Tuesday to prevent a vote on a measure that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, as well as placing tight new standards on abortion providers.

At 3 a.m. Wednesday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst stepped to the Senate floor to declare the bill dead and the special session over, though Perry announced later he was calling the legislature back into session to continue considering the bill.

Davis, who wasn't permitted to sit down or speak off-topic, became a hero to supporters of abortion rights nationwide. Her biography – the child of a single mother, who after having her own child at 19 worked her way through community college and Harvard Law – was cited an example of perseverance in the face of enormous obstacles.

But Perry argued Thursday that biography should instead have provided the Democratic lawmaker guidance in her personal views on abortion.

"The fact is, who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can't grow to live successful lives?" Perry said. "In fact, even the woman who filibustered in 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 eventually to 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."

Responding to those remarks later Thursday, Davis said Perry's statement lacked "dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds.

"They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view," she continued. "Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test."

Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, also reacted sharply to Perry's speech.

"Rick Perry's remarks are incredibly condescending and insulting to women," Richards said. "This is exactly why the vast majority of Texans believe that politicians shouldn't be involved in a woman's personal health care decisions. Women are perfectly capable of deciding whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child, and they don't need Rick Perry's help making that decision."


Filed under: Abortion • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    What's the difference between Rand Paul's filibuster and Sen. Davis' filibuster Gov. Perry?

    June 27, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. MS

    Perry is the human equivalent of a certain Denis Leary song.

    June 27, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Tony Z

    A second session is a waste of money, but hey its Texas. The fundamental problem is Right to Lifers want to eliminate abortion and help for those with physical and intellectual disabilities. There is a reason God gave us FREE WILL. It's time we understand it.

    June 27, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. rs

    Funny that a man whose party has tied up the Senate of the United States with more than 400 filibusters in 5 years would say this lady hijacked anything. She prevented Perry from carrying lot the legislative rape of the women of Texas.

    June 27, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Sick and tired

    But isn't that the same thing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul do everytime the democrats try an pass something? Or is it justified because they are republicans?

    June 27, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. just askin

    and to think that this all could have been avoided had her mother been a whacko liberal like her and opted to go to planned abortion instead. she spits on her mother with her actions.

    June 27, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. Huh?

    "Parliamentary tactics are certainly nothing new. But what we witnessed Tuesday was nothing more than the hijacking of the Democratic process. And this is simply too important a cause to allow the unruly actions of a few to stand in its way."

    Maybe he should talk to his GOP buddies in Congress – they have been hijacking the Deomcratic process sinice Obama came into office.

    June 27, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Al-NY,NY

    exactly Dutch...this fool is a disgrace

    June 27, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    ".... 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."
    --------------–
    Spoken by a man who is proud of the fact that his state just executed its' 500th inmate since 1976. "Forgive and forget?" Forget about it. "Jesus saves." That concept is toast with Christian conservatives, too.

    June 27, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Scott

    The difference is Rand Paul followed the rules this chick did not. She did everything in her power to ignore the process.
    It does not matter it will pass one way or another. Next time it will be behind close doors, same way Obama passed ObamaCare, middle of night behind close doors.

    June 27, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Scott

    Huh?

    "Parliamentary tactics are certainly nothing new. But what we witnessed Tuesday was nothing more than the hijacking of the Democratic process. And this is simply too important a cause to allow the unruly actions of a few to stand in its way."

    Maybe he should talk to his GOP buddies in Congress – they have been hijacking the Deomcratic process sinice Obama came into office.
    ______________________
    Just like Obama did when he passed his healthcare in the middle of the night behind close doors. =)

    June 27, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Name

    Perry can't stand for one life to be lost – except when he kills them

    June 27, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Jim

    Sounds like Perry and the other good ol' boys are unhappy because the ladies may not be amenable to being kept barefoot and pregnant?

    June 27, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    just askin

    and to think that this all could have been avoided had her mother been a whacko liberal like her and opted to go to planned abortion instead. she spits on her mother with her actions.
    -----
    Seriously? You're saying that by not getting an abortion, that her mother gave birth to a "whacko liberal". Hmm.

    June 27, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Warren

    And another "Bush" speaks..It's none of your business "Mr." Perry, Leave it to the woman to decide what happens to her body.

    June 27, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Jeff in Virginia

    So lets just nail down Rick Perry's logic here..

    Democrats doing a filibuster is "hijacking the process" while Republicans doing a filibuster is "defending freedom".

    We see right through you, Rick Perry.

    June 27, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    ".... 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."
    ----––
    Spoken by a man who is proud of the fact that his state just executed its' 500th inmate since 1976. "Forgive and forget?" Forget about it. "Jesus saves." That concept is toast with Christian conservatives, too.
    --------
    Bait & switch... bait & switch....

    June 27, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Rick Perry is just jealous , Wendy Davis is more of a man then he will ever be .

    Wendy Davis fo Governor !

    June 27, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Mike Wallace

    Perry is a typical pro big government Socialist.

    June 27, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. sonny chapman

    This is the same guy who said "Texans respect ALL forms of life" on the same day that the People of Texas Executed #500 so that they would be safer from future violent crime. Somebody tell Mr. Perry & all those in TX who think like him that Jesus despised hypocrites, Matthew 23,1-36.

    June 27, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Governor Rick Perry celebrates his states 500th execution at a private party with family and friends at the Governors mansion in Austin .

    Stop Abortions / Suport Executions

    June 27, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. PJ

    "Parliamentary tactics are certainly nothing new."
    You mean like the "tactic" of cutting her off at 11 hours because she talked about things "off subject"? Like
    Planned Parenthood and sonograms? How is that "off subject"?
    Or, changing the date on the register to "imply" the vote was actual taken before midnight, when it was
    not? Cau;ght again.
    Perry, your own tactics are catching up with you, and while we're at it, how dare you use her
    personal life in a speech. You are not one to talk, Mr. Pay for Play guy. You have milked the people
    of Texas long enough. Time for you to go!

    June 27, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Stephen

    Gotta love filibusters. Both sides do it when they're in the minority, then immediately lambaste the other side for doing it once they become the majority.

    June 27, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. GonzoinHouston

    During the normal legislative session in the Texas senate, a supermajority is required to bring a bill to the floor for discussion. The bill, to regulate abortion clinics to the brink of extinction, didn't have the votes. In a special session, the Governor sets the agenda and the supermajority rule does not apply. Hence the filibuster. In response to this second defeat, Perry is calling for yet another special session. If it fails again, he may call another, and another, until he gets the desired result. Things like this lead to some of Texas' sillier political stunts, such as the Killer Bees incident.

    June 27, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    sonny chapman
    This is the same guy who said "Texans respect ALL forms of life" on the same day that the People of Texas Executed #500 so that they would be safer from future violent crime. Somebody tell Mr. Perry & all those in TX who think like him that Jesus despised hypocrites, Matthew 23,1-36.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Amen! Out of those 500 dead Gov. Perry, is there any chance that any of them were innocent?

    June 27, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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