Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called a video purporting to show supporters of his gubernatorial challenger Wendy Davis making fun of him for being disabled "unworthy of Texas."
Texans look "far beyond superficial appearances," Abbott said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File."
Instead, he said, they look at "depth of character."
Abbott has been in a wheelchair since 1984, when he was 26 years old. A tree had fallen on him when he was running from a storm.
The video was released by Project Veritas, headed by James O'Keefe
, who in 2009 secretly recorded ACORN employees advising people on ways to break the law.
The video shows members of the group Battleground Texas, which supports Davis, making fun of Abbott's appearance, personality, and disability.
Battleground Texas called the video a "hit job" and said it was edited. O'Keefe denied that, saying it was presented in full.
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Asked by Fox's Megyn Kelly for a response, Abbott, a Republican, said there is a reason he has been elected statewide five times: "And that's because Texans know I have the quality and depth of character to represent their families and their values."
Davis, a Democratic state senator, gained national attention in 2013 when she filibustered a bill
to restrict abortions in Texas.
Davis is seen in the video addressing the group, but issued a statement condemning the words used by Battleground Texas members.
"The language used in this video about Greg Abbott is abhorrent," her statement read. "Greg Abbott has persevered through great personal challenge to raise a family, have productive career, and for that he deserves our respect."
Davis came under fire this week after The Dallas Morning News
reported she had exaggerated her rags-to-riches stories
as a single mother living in a trailer to a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Davis blamed the story on Abbott, though the story's author said he did not speak to anyone in the attorney general's campaign.
She also caught heat for saying anyone who criticizes the life she has led "hasn't walked a day in my shoes." Some said that was a veiled reference to Abbott's disability.
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