Gammage fires back at Bell on abortion
The Democratic race for governor grew more contentious Thursday as Bob Gammage said his record in public office is being distorted by opponent Chris Bell and that he would be willing to debate Bell in the coming weeks.My quick thoughts:
"If he wants to misrepresent and distort my record, that's his call," Gammage told news reporters in Austin. "If he wants to debate, that's fine with me."
Bell's campaign is interested in a debate, and campaign officials are having internal discussions about it, spokesman Jason Stanford said. The two campaigns have not talked to each other about it. The Democratic primary is March 7.
"I've said all along that this is an exciting choice for Democrats — about looking into the future or reaching in the past," Stanford said. "I'm sure there will be discussions. I'm sure there will be debates."
"I was pro-choice before women had a choice," [Gammage] said, adding that his votes in Congress were about whether the government should fund abortions, not whether women should be able to have them. The ruling governing abortion was still unclear at the time, in 1977, he added.
"Today I wouldn't vote that way," [Gammage] said. "You learn things with time."
1. Gammage now says he'd have voted for governmental funding of abortion. He isn't going to let Bell try to get to the left of him on abortion.
2. The TSTA teacher's union endorsement of Carole Strayhorn hurts Democrats. In a four or five way race, Democrats have a chance if they can hold on to the Democratic base. However, when the TSTA breaks with its own Democratic tradition to endorse Strayhorn, it's a bad sign for the Democratic nominee.
So it makes eminent sense to try to rev up the Democratic base by focusing on something like abortion. By fighting over it in a primary, they might fire up the activists on the left and get them to stick with the Democratic party.
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