AG Abbott: Texas' 'Third World' Corruption Not Just in South

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 08:17 PM

By Greg Richter

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he was not singling out south Texas when he compared corruption in the state to that of Third World countries last week.

Abbott made the statement Feb. 4 during an announcement that included border security initiatives for the Rio Grande Valley.

An editorial Friday in The Monitor newspaper in McAllen was critical of Abbott, saying he had singled out an area that is primarily Hispanic and would not have used the term "Third World" in an area populated mostly by whites.

Abbott is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, and already is locked in a heated battle with Democratic candidate state Sen. Wendy Davis. Neither has significant primary opposition.

Davis also jumped on Abbott's words in a letter to the editor that appeared in The Monitor on Sunday.

Abbott appeared Monday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren," and said his comments about "creeping corruption" that resemble "Third World country practices" were aimed at public officials throughout the state.

The race between Abbott and Davis has garnered national attention as Democrats see a Davis win as a chance to move the red state with 38 electoral votes more toward the left. Davis came to prominence in June after she filibustered in the state legislature for 13 hours to try to prevent passage of a restrictive abortion bill.

Davis and Abbott have bickered bitterly, with Davis accusing Abbott's campaign of feeding a story about her incorrect biography to The Dallas Morning News in late January. The newspaper's reporter denied any such connection.

Soon afterward, conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe released an undercover video of Davis supporters mocking Abbott, who uses a wheelchair. Davis condemned the group for attacking Abbott.

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