GOP candidate for governor doubles down after calling south Texas ‘third-world country’

By George Chidi
Sunday, February 9, 2014 18:49 EDT
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When Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott compared the Rio Grande Valley to a “third-world country” earlier this week, progressives and the Latino community in south Texas hit the roof.

Democratic opponent State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) called on Abbott “to apologize for his offensive and erroneous comment that problems facing South Texas resemble ‘third-world country practices that erode the social fabric of our communities and destroys Texans’ trust in government’” in a letter published in the south Texas publication The Monitor.

“While I agree we should ensure that law enforcement has the necessary resources throughout our state, it’s unfortunate that oftentimes the conversation around our border communities focuses solely on enforcement,” she wrote, taking issue with Abbott’s “divisive rhetoric” and calling for “leadership that is grounded in facts and is ready to open up new opportunities with trade and commerce which currently support hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas.”

Abbott’s comments about corruption in south Texas elicited demands from lawmakers for him to walk back his comments, such as this response from State Rep. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg).

However, Abbott instead plans a reply of his own in The Monitor to Davis’ letter, to be published Monday. And Abbott called Davis “clueless” about the area when describing his response.

Watch the Q-and-A that launched the exchange between Davis and Abbott below.

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