June 28th, 2013
10:33 AM ET
10 years ago

Davis shrugs off Perry's scolding

(CNN) – The deeply personal criticism that Texas Gov. Rick Perry leveled at state Sen. Wendy Davis Thursday diminished the position he holds, she said in an interview Friday.

Speaking at a national "Right to Life" conference in Dallas, Perry took aim at Davis' own background, claiming she had learned the wrong lessons from being born to a single mother and having her first daughter as a teenager.

"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, noting Davis had gone on to graduate from college and Harvard Law.

"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," the Republican governor said.

Speaking Friday on MSNBC, Democrat Davis said the decisions she's made in life don't qualify her to dictate how another woman should live.

"I would say to him that I had the privilege of making a choice about the path I chose for my life, and I am so proud of my daughters, but I could never for a moment put myself in the shoes of another woman confronting a difficult personal choice, and it really isn't for him to make statements like that," Davis said.

The state lawmaker, who represents a district in the Fort Worth area, became a hero to abortion rights supporters this week after staging a 13-hour filibuster of proposed legislation that would place new restrictions on abortions in Texas. The law would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and place new regulations on abortion providers.

The measure, declared dead after Davis' marathon filibuster, will be reconsidered during a special session of the state legislature convened by Perry next week.

Filed under: Abortion • Rick Perry • Wendy Davis
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer


    Somehow I believe most abortions after 20 weeks are for convenience.


    My 4 year old grandson believes in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny – doesn't mean they exist.

    June 28, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Steveo wrote:

    Somehow I believe most abortions after 20 weeks are for convenience.
    Believe? Is there something wrong with facts? Are your opinions based upon a personal belief system?

    June 28, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Gov Perry should not be using political power to serve his personal feelings. The medical community has already decided when and how an abortion takes place. Let's leave it there and not in the state house.

    June 28, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. cedar rapids

    'Steveo – Somehow I believe most abortions after 20 weeks are for convenience.'

    Well unless you can provide stats that just sits in the realm of opinion, and carries little weight on the matter.

    June 28, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. Larry in Houston

    @ pm Ohio – that's what they are doing now in Tx – this "re-districting" thing has been going on for Months, now. It's all about future elections, ya know. Perry & company wants to keep things "locked up" (for them, of course)

    June 28, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. vikingwoman

    Why does the GOTP want to keep us poor & pregnant!? I think that is the question we should ask ourselves, in light of all this nonsense! Why do they concentrate on an issue that has already been decided, instead of issues that they practically refuse to address! Job's, education, the economy, for example! They certainly scream about them often enough, but then settle down to their anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda! Useless & clueless!!

    June 28, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Jay Faulconer

    Women's right activists insist that men have no say in their reproductive rights yet insist that a father is 50% fiscally responsible for their child. Women should decide once and for all if a baby is 50% a man's responsibility or zero, I am sick and tired of the fickle mind of a woman dictating that ratio.

    June 28, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. yep

    Democratic strategists sit in a conference room trying to figure out how to defeat the GOP. Conclusion: Just wait and do nothing, they will do it themselves.

    June 28, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. AnnoyedByPolitics

    "The state lawmaker, who represents a district in the Fort Worth area, became a hero to abortion rights supporters this week after staging a 13-hour filibuster..."

    I love how the media keeps misreporting this as if it were true. Her filibuster failed 11 hours in. The bill had proceeded to a vote, was in the process of having the votes counted and was going to be passed until the public gallery broke out in a near riot like a bunch of 5 year olds throwing tantrums and prevented the count from being completed before midnight. This was no great success on her part.

    June 28, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. JustAO

    Anyone else in Texas tired of low iq middle-aged white man running that state? How many times are you going to elect these fools? Please secede from the union since your government likes to implement Sharia law for women and Jim crow laws for minorities. Truly unAmerican I'd say!

    June 28, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. bdm

    as usual, mr. perry and his representations embarrass texans who are not right wing, christian conservatives. he seemingly does not have the skill set to truly represent the entire citizenship of the state he governs. he is a throw back to the days when women and children were well behaved when they were quiet and did as they were told. he is nothing more than a bubba in a $2000 suit.

    June 28, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. patNY

    Does the bill ban abortion after 20 weeks with no exceptions for the health or life of the mother, incest and rape?

    June 28, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    jim wrote:

    By denying the opportunity for a vote, she is making a choice for everyone on this matter. This isnt about abortion as much as the right of the democratic process to play out. Sometimes you are in the majority sometimes not. We have checks and balances if the majority is wrong, there is a governor who can vetoand a court system that can rule it down.
    Haven't you noticed the record number of filibusters by Republicans in the US Senate over the past several years?

    June 28, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. philojazz

    Remember, folks, this same Rick Perry was quite recently considered by the GOP to be the FRONT RUNNER in their search for a Presidential candidate. Hard to believe, yes, but true nonetheless. Please keep this in mind whenever you enter the voting booth, or whenever you think about giving a donation to a political party. Fine, we all made it through the 2012 election without electing a Republican, but who knows, if enough people forget, or become complacent, someone like Rick Perry could be a "front runner" again. I shudder at the thought. You should, too.

    June 28, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Wake up People!

    @Ordinary Average American.

    I feel your pain. The same thing happens to me too, especially if I make a comment about the former First Lady...... Zapped!

    June 28, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. the real roe

    Everyone one is fine with things until it effects their lives. Perry or no man gives birth(naturally that is). We should leave womens bodies to women. What if they were saying at a certain age we had to lose a ball hahahaaha be a different story then wouldnt it.

    June 28, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Courage of Leadership

    Wendy Davis is a magnificent example of class, hard work, and integrity.

    Perry's cheap, condescending comments personify what it means to be a republican – ignorant, self-centered, and offensive.

    June 28, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Absurdistonia

    Seriously? There is a standard definition already accepted and in place, what the eff is the problem, oh ya right the religious brainwashing thing. Do you celebrate "conception day"? or do you celebrate your "Birth day"? pretty simple. you can choose to believe in whatever you want that is your freedom and right, but foisting your beliefs on ANYONE else is where the line is drawn. Your inalienable rights start on your birthday, it has been that way for well near forever, reguardless of what some nice old man in a dress told you on Sunday morning. or claims someone wrote down in a book 1400 years ago about what someone said 2000 years ago, edited by another old man in a dress 1000 years ago and this is your "book of god"? really? what else do we cling to from the bronze age? Does spit heal infections? Is the world flat? Following blind faith is no better than a guard in Aushwitz claiming to follow orders.

    June 28, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    A Kickin` Donkey

    The Democrats need a NextGeneration of leaders for national office. Let Harvard Law, Texan, Wendy Davis join Kamala Harris, Juaquin Castro, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Brian Schwietzer as people in the pipeline for Secretary, Undersecretary, Deputy, VP or other positions.
    I would like to add the State Senator from Ohio's 25th Senate district, Sen. Nina Turner.

    June 28, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Jeffery

    This women spoke for all these hours for the right to MURDER live unborn innocent babies in the name of choice. How will she react when she is standing before a thrice holy God. Thou shalt not kill!

    June 28, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Ccampa

    Here we go again with another chauvinistic republican attacking women on being a woman, and also a woman with power. Wow! How do other women ever vote republican is beyond human comprehension to me. Don't let them degrade you, don't vote for them.

    June 28, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. NYVeteran

    Rick Perry has no business scolding anyone. He is barely literate and is an extremist. He makes W look like Einstein and makes Texas a laughing stock. These red staters have been so out of touch for so long they don't get the rest of the world with our fancy things like electricity, cement ponds and ciphering. Time to get your head out of the outhouse Jethro. Its 2013. You can wear shoes now and be somebody.

    June 28, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Draeggo

    Governor Perry is a disgrace to our state and country. He truly believes he is better than people that think differently from him. This has nothing to do with left or right, repub or dem... it has to do with interfering in a persons private decision. Perry is a perfect example of self importance and LT. Gov. Dewhurst is no better and might possibly be even more petty than the our sitting "GOD" governor.

    June 28, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. bob

    Woman > lump of cells.

    June 28, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. Bill

    I don't agree with abortion, but i also don't believe i have the right to chose for anyone else. If we truly live in a free country, there are things everybody don't like, but it also mean we can't force it on people. I think it's an honorable thing that Ms Davis did, and yes, i am not a Rick Perry fan.

    June 28, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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