Wendy Davis Dominates Greg Abbott In The First Texas Gubernatorial Debate

Wendy Davis Texas Governor Debate

Wendy Davis had a dominant night at the first gubernatorial debate. Davis brought facts and the vision for the future, while Greg Abbott was left with Republican talking points and lies.


Video of the debate:


Davis got the first question about balancing border security and local development. She answered that she would listen to local leaders, and hammered Greg Abbott for calling this part of the area Third World. Abbott rebutted by saying that secure communities promote economic development. Abbott tied economic development in the Rio Grande Valley to economic development. Abbott’s first question was about the state Supreme Court ruling the school funding system unconstitutional. Abbott answered with no education plan, but with Republican platitudes on education. Davis pointed out that she protested the education cuts that Abbott is defending. She called the education cuts he supports “dumb,” and vowed to fight for more regulation for schools.

Davis was asked about what she sees as fair regulations for abortion. She called out Abbott for campaigning with a known sexual predator (Ted Nugent). She said, “Mr. Abbott that is not protecting Texas women.” Abbott rebutted with more Republican talking points about establishing a culture of life. (Abbott’s answers have been straight off the national Republican talking points sheet.)

Greg Abbott started to squirm when he was asked about his comments calling the Rio Grande Valley to a third world country. Abbott tried to rewrite history and claim that he was talking about the entire state, when media reports contradict his claims. At the quarter point of the debate, it is easy to see why Abbott is not performing as well of other Republicans in the polls. He is a very underwhelming candidate.

Wendy Davis ripped Abbott for not expanding Medicaid. She said, “Mr. Abbott is California’s best friend in Texas because he wants to keep sending our tax dollars to them.” Abbott accused Davis of wanting to expand Obamacare in Texas and called Obamacare an abject failure. Abbott said you had seen the future of Obamacare in veteran’s care, which was a total lie, because Obamacare is not government run healthcare.

Abbott said that Texas needed even less government and rejected raising the minimum wage, even though the increase would help 2.8 million Texans. Abbott tried to say that there aren’t many minimum wage workers in the state, when the truth is that Texas ranks near the top of the country in the number of minimum wage workers. Davis rebutted, “Raising the minimum wage is not only good for Texas families, it’s good for our economy.” She said Abbott is looking out for his insider friends, not Texas families.

Davis scored effective points on almost every question, but will it be enough to overcome a generic Republican opponent in deeply red Texas?

In the portion of the debate where the candidates could question each other, Greg Abbott asked Davis if she regretted voting for Obama. Davis answered that she is busy running for governor. She ignored his question and used it to discuss her vision of what the governor should be doing. (She didn’t answer the question.)

Davis asked Abbott about the state funding system being ruled unconstitutional. Davis asked Abbott if he will drop his appeals and appropriately fund the schools. Abbott tried to blame Davis for his unwillingness to settle the lawsuit. Davis got fired up and told Abbott that what he is doing is wrong.

Sen. Davis was asked about the decision to indict Rick Perry. She said that she believed that these are serious charges that deserve serious consideration. Abbott said the charges were bizarre for Perry to be indicted for exercising a veto. (This was a complete distortion of what Gov. Perry did.) Davis criticized Abbott for accepting a $100,000 donation from Koch Industries and blocking residents from having the right to know what kinds of dangerous chemicals are stored in the communities. Abbott said that residents can’t know about potential dangers like the explosion that happened in West, TX because of terrorism.

Abbott defended voter ID laws by claiming that voter fraud is real, despite the fact that there is no evidence of voter fraud.

Wendy Davis had a dominant performance in the first of two Texas gubernatorial debates. Watching this debate it is easy to see why Texas Republicans are working so hard to derail Davis’ political star. If he wins, Greg Abbott has the look of a candidate that voters will regret electing.

Abbott alternated between lying and blaming the federal government for his failures. He also showed no leadership and vision for the future. Attorney General Abbott is a Koch Republican, who could have been interchanged with thousands of other generic Republican candidates around the country.

Wendy Davis had a fantastic debate. She is a Democrat on the rise, and her strong debate showing should continue to help her close the gap on Greg Abbott.

57 Replies to “Wendy Davis Dominates Greg Abbott In The First Texas Gubernatorial Debate”

  1. I think Wendy Davis was okay–nothing fantastic. I don’t think she dominated at all, but did seem to shrug off the stupidity of Abbott’s question to her because he wasn’t taking the debate seriously at all. I don’t think the debate changed anything, but I could, and I hope that I am, wrong about my assumptions.

  2. Greg Abbott’s summary statement made me think of what a Civil War recruiter must have said while trying to convince ordinary citizens who didn’t own slaves to give their lives and property to insure that the super wealthy continue to be allowed to exploit a minority for their own economic benefit, trying to confuse issues by claiming that ordinary citizens were having their rights violated by government when in fact it was the slave owners who violated basic human rights. Almost every point Abbott made, from restricting pre-kindergarten for poor students to putting industry ahead of basic environmental and safety considerations, echoed these sentiments. Let us hope that enough voters see through Abbott’s rhetoric to put an end to government for the super rich in Texas this year.


  4. Sounds like Wendy had s great debate. Wish I could have seen it, I’m not in the country. Frankly,I hope Texans who watched this debate realize Abbott is not ready for prime time.
    Abbott is doing what McConnell and Brownback are wanting to do, and that is make the election a referendum on Obama. It’s not working for McConnell, and from what I hear, it’s not working for Brownback.

    The GOP has very weak leaders. They are all puppets, incapable of original thought, as Abbott showed. All he had was talking points. Everybody knows the AHA is a success, yet, he stood there and said the exact opposite!
    He’s a loser

  5. Looking ahead, the Kochs can’t afford to lose ANY Texas race. There are too many electoral votes to lose in 2016. If Abbott loses, Texas goes purple (at best) in 2016. A couple more years of GOP malfeasance and the democrats will steamroll the GOP in 2016.

    Go Wendy…

  6. Good luck, lady. Texas and The United States of America need more politicians with brains and integrity similar to yours.

  7. Wendy did great! Did anyone else notice that moderator Ryan dude kept cutting Wendy off. I guess he’s on Abbotts payroll!

  8. I’m independent and not at all a big fan of Greg Abbott, but to say Wendy Davis dominated is quite an overstatement. He actually seemed very confident and factual, while she sounded very rehearsed and robotic, imo. I don’t think she won any converts tonight and barring some dramatic miracle, Abbott will win.

  9. That’s the only way these GOP puppets will debate..the moderator has to be chosen by them. In MI, neither our Governor nor the GOP Koch puppet wanting to be Senator even plan to debate. I just sent them nice emails saying I was looking forward to their debates and wondering when they plan to hold them. I think I’ll repeat that every day. They are cowards…wanna bet Abbott refuses to do Round Two? Here, they are doing ‘bus tours’ and can’t be bothered to plan ahead.

  10. Unaffiliated….so what you’re saying is Wendy is not a smooth talker like Abbott? Yes, I agree….smooth talking politicians are usually there to sell you something and it’s not the truth or good for you! Oh lord…the simple minds never look beyond the shiny penny. I remember one time someone made a comment to me that they were voting for George W. Bush… I asked why, they replied, because he wears jeans and boots! And the world continues to laugh at us…..at our self inflicted wounds.

  11. As a liberal Democrat, to say Ms. Davis dominated this debate is the biggest stretch of the imagination I have ever heard.

    Politics 101- Ms. Davis was monotone and not personable in any fashion. Mr. Abbott was able o spin lies all night, but did so in a like-able sort of way.

    Wake up Texas. You are now another candidate down. White/Sadler/Davis. Get someone with a personality that can actually debate.

    This was a debate I had looked forward to for a while, was so disappointed I ripped the Davis for Governor sticker off my families car.

    If Texas is really going to turn “purple” we need better than this. Wake up.

  12. Good grief. What debate were you people watching? Davis came across as phony and rehearsed, and refused to answer the questions she was asked. Abbott at least seemed to be replying extemporaneously, and his answers were certainly better than hers.

    “Dominates”? Hardly. “Is humiliated by her awful performance”? That’s closer to the mark.

  13. …and she totally embarrassed herself by replying to Abbott’s answer (my God, the format of this debate was horrible), trying to talk over the moderator, even though she had agreed beforehand to the format.

  14. LOL! You Davis supporters are delusional! She came across as stiff, petty, cold, and angry. Greg Abbot was genuine, friendly, and engaged.

  15. Whenever people on this site feel the need to begin their comment with, “I’m a Liberal Democrat,” you know they’re lying.

  16. Regarding Wendy Davis “not being a smooth talker,” Wendy is not even a smooth Reader!! Every single word she read was paced exactly like every word before it, on and on, with never a moment of reflection or invention. Her performance was so pitiful, not to mention wretchedly BORING, that she was an embarrassment to the Democratic Party.

  17. I’ll be watching this debate with some popcorn. Afterwards, asking for my family and friends for their vote and what Wendy Davis represents for Texas. Viva future Governor Davis!

  18. Tat..so true, look at the RW nuts “busing in” this sight to defend their candidate Abbott, like the poster above Jack Harrt, who probably works for the KOCH brothers to troll sights! This special interest candidates never cease to amaze me!

  19. There appears to be lots of people who dont care about their future. They are voting party. Forget the state is just about last in everything

  20. Davis asked Abbott if he will drop his appeals and appropriately fund the schools. ms davis said, “The only thing right now coming between our children and appropriate funding of their schools today is you. On behalf of the five million children of this state, will you agree tonight that you will drop your appeals and allow our schools to be appropriately funded?”
    I guess this sounded good, unless you actually listened to AG Abbott’s response.
    Abbott correctly pointed out to davis, “There’s actually another thing coming between me and settling that lawsuit. That is a law that you voted to pass in 2011 that removes from the Attorney General the ability to settle lawsuits just like this.”
    Did you get that, Jason Easley?
    Davis didn’t even know that a bill she voted FOR prevents the AG from doing exactly what she was saying she wanted him to do!
    Davis Dominated? Not by a long shot.

    Perhaps Jason should try reporting objectively.

  21. I’m a teapartying Republican, and love reading the stuff here, and yes, I have had people describe themselves that way to me, because they know what I am, so it’s relevant to the conversation

  22. The political polarization of the United States is, in large part, the result of ignorance and narrowmindedness. I would be thoroughly surprised if a stellar performance by either candidate swayed even a small percentage of voters. Straight ticket voters are going to be straight ticket voters because fallacious one liners that make you feel good or your opponents feel bad are easy. Rational and creative arguments and solutions are complex, dull, and don’t really make good soundbites. So long as people aren’t willing to educate themselves as to what a good argument is and to what the issues are, I wouldn’t expect to see any positive movement in the U.S. or Texas. That’s not altogether a bad thing, though, since our only two options seem to be scaled back versions of fascism or socialism.

  23. The moderator cut off both Davis and Abbot, but Davis was cut off more often because she could not time her responses to meet the preset format. She was so monotone she could have been mistaken for a computer program reading a script. Her goal was to insult Abbot at every chance, yet one single question from him about support of Obama she could not answer. The correct answer should have been: “No, I do not regret voting for President Obama. He has led the country well.” A nervous laugh and a dodge are not what I expected from a state leader.

  24. I would think the political polarization is far deeper then that. Its planned, and executed. It started January 20th 2009

  25. No, she obviously showed she can’t handle the job as evidenced when she ignored the moderator. If she gets her emotions in check though, well still a longshot.

  26. Davis is not a great speaker. But neither is she phony. She’s studied the issues and is trying to get what she believes is important across, clearly and consisely. In this I think she is successful. She will improve as a debater.

    More important is that she is right about the issues and the people of Texas will be the beneficiaries of her policies.

    I wish she would borrow a page from Alison Grimes, running against Sen. McConnell in Kentucky. McConnell has spent the 1st half of the year trying to run against President Obama instead of his opponent. She cuts him off everytime and redirects by reminding that the election is vs Grimes not the President. That she is a strong KY woman and not an empty dress. He has no answer for that, and is unable to avoid the actual issues. He is no longer agreeing to any more public appearances with her.

    Abbott is doing the same thing to Davis. It is condescending and insulting.

  27. If you’re not in the country how do you know what is going on with Kansas & Sam Brownback? Like we need another liar like Kathleen Sebelius in this state.

  28. Good luck on your wishes lefty Texans. Got friends in liberal Austin & San Marcos as well as the southern part of the state. Haven’t heard none of them say good things about her & they say many of their friends, neighbors, family, & co-workers feel the same. Must be listening to the Aero Smith song “Dream ON” in a loop.

  29. Jack,
    You drop support because she is a monotone…
    and you are impressed with Abbott because he can spin lies all night?

    Wow. Just…Wow.

  30. Greg Abbott did well,
    Windy Davis is using the Obama playbook of Demonizing the oposition but not really telling what she actualy stands for.
    She is another lyberal from the Obama camp.
    If she wins the election in Texas
    this state will fall just like the reast of the nation.

  31. For your children’s sake you better hope Wendy wins. Because your lacking of education is very telling.
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  32. You must not have been listening to the actual debate. Maybe you only heard certain commentary? Davis says exactly what she would do.

    Including education.

    Selective deafness ?

    Everybody demonizes the opposition.

  33. Hey Sapper740….You,I repeat,You will not be invited to the billionaiares club and Koch doesn’t give a damn about you either…unless you are rich,other than that! STFU! and that goes for yo’ stupid Rethug populace too.

  34. Wendy didn’t slam anyone. She couldn’t even answer whether or not she regretted voting for Obama. Is the PC police that powerful that it makes Dems afraid to tell the truth?
    Sadly, both are lacking.
    However, Davis doesn’t have a chance in Texas, IMO, since she bailed on her kids, then used her husband to pay off her college debts and bailed on him, too. Texas folks have enough scruples to know she’s a political whore and unable to do what needs to be done. Just an opportunist with no character or ability.

  35. We went from the great Ann Richards to this? What happened to the Democrat Party…

    I’m sitting out this election. Wendy doesn’t have a shot.

  36. Have you ever listened to her? She is an empty suit. She was on a radio show a few weeks ago in DFW and was embarrassing. Ann Richards actually had something but Wendy Davis is a joke.

  37. Unfortunately down here in Texas-judging by your comments i assume you are also living here- we both know that you could literally put a dead tree stump on the republican side and it would beat any democrat that runs which also pretty much summarizes the republican mentality of the state as well

  38. Reminds me of the Greg Abbot commercial where he had to get this mother-in-law to say “I love my son in law”. Okay, I love my dog. I DON’T want him as governor either, but he would do a better job than Abbott.

  39. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard. She didn’t answer one question and used that time to “try” to slam Greg Abbot. Her answers were absolutely useless. You are sooooooo right! Anyone who can’t see that…is clearly an empty suit themselves.

  40. That’s not what I read and who gives a rats ass that you don’t like how she sound. You would much rather have a criminal in office? Talk about a low info shallow ass idiot!

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