MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said Thursday that Democrat Wendy Davis would impose a "liberal extreme" agenda if elected governor and described her star-making filibuster this summer over abortion restrictions as a spectacle created by a raucous minority.
In his first interview about Davis challenging him to replace Gov. Rick Perry in 2014, Abbott told The Associated Press the underdog state senator is too politically aligned with President Barack Obama and would not win over Texas' women voters, which she'll need.
Abbott also blasted Davis' record on guns, calling it an issue where she is even further to left than former Gov. Ann Richards, who was the last Democrat to win the governor's office.
"Obama's political operation is the muscle behind Wendy Davis' political operation," Abbott said. "And we can expect the same kind of liberal policies from Wendy Davis that we've seen from the Obama administration."
Abbott spoke to the AP hours before Davis' expected announcement in the Fort Worth area. Abbott formally launched his campaign in July but up until now has been mum about Davis, whose candidacy has been rumored since her nearly 13-hour filibuster in the state Senate over new abortion restrictions.
The filibuster propelled Davis to national Democratic stardom and gave her fundraising power on both coasts. Abbott said Davis was siding with a "small minority" during her filibuster and said the temporary defeat of the bill was "inconsequential" given that it ultimately passed.
"It was a spectacle. There were people walking around the Capitol chanting 'Hail Satan,'" Abbott said. "I don't think that's representative of where mainstream Texas is."
Abbott said he's heard increasing concerns on the campaign trail from voters about Democratic politics bleeding into Texas, which hasn't elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994.
"Most of (Davis') legislative record matches up with her liberal extremism on the abortion issue," Abbott said. "She is an extremist with regards to imposing the kind of spending and regulation that's reckless for government."
Follow Paul J. Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/pauljweber