Governor Rick Perry threw fuel on the fire for Senator Wendy Davis supporters. At a pro-life event he said it's too bad Davis didn't learn from her own situation as a teen mom. Did he go too far?
Governor Rick Perry spoke at the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas Thursday. He vowed to pass Senate Bill 5 which would put tougher restrictions on abortion clinics and limit abortions to under 20 weeks.
"We are under no obligation to make things easier for the abortionist," Perry said.
Then, he addressed Senator Wendy Davis. Her all-day filibuster that killed the bill last session has catapulted her to rock-star status.
"She was the daughter of a single woman. She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to graduate from Harvard Law School and served in the Texas Senate. It's just unfortunate she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and every life matters," said Perry.
That statement drew harsh criticism from pro-choice advocates including Davis herself. She posted this on her Facebook page:
"I am saddened to learn that Governor Perry made the shameful decision today to personally attack me and my family. The governor's comments are without dignity and tarnish the high office that he holds. Texans deserve better than a governor who thinks the government should intrude on a family's most personal decisions. And Texans deserve better than a governor who tells women - including myself - how they should live their lives."
Davis also asked that supporters donate to her campaign to show leaders they're ready to fight.
Carol Everett, CEO of The Heidi Group attended the pro-life event and says naysayers have got it all wrong.
"I felt he said it with the greatest empathy and perhaps a little sadness that she was advocating a path for women other than the one she chose," said Everett. "It was not a down-putting statement at all. It was a question of why she would advocate a choice rather than the one she made."
Glenn Smith, director of Progress Texas PAC, predicts what Perry said will have an negative impact on his career whether he runs again as governor or for president.
"Governor Perry's comment was un-gentlemanly, un-seemly, un-dignified. It's gonna be rejected and it speaks to his character. Texans don't like men that are that disrespectful for women. It's not the Texas way," said Smith. "I think he's going to live to regret his remark."
Like Davis, Perry is getting support on his Facebook page. At the press conference he launched a new text campaign. Plenty of people are still standing with him.
"He had a standing ovation when he was introduced. He had a standing ovation when he completed his speech. The crowd loved him," said Everett.