Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator and Democratic candidate for governor, rejects the idea that she’s a bad mother and “downright pathetic” — just a few of the barbs thrown her way in a recent column and tweet by reality TV personality Bristol Palin.
“With all due respect to Miss Palin, of course, nothing that was said in that tweet is true,” Davis told Jorge Ramos on Monday. “I am very proud of the mother that I have been to my daughters. I have always been and will always be the most important female in their life.”
Last week, the Dallas Morning News published an attention-grabbing news story challenging some of the biographical details that Davis has used to craft the narrative of her political ascent.
During her gubernatorial campaign, Davis has used her background as a divorced teenage mother to connect with voters. She eventually made her way from living in a mobile home to attending Harvard Law School.
The Dallas Morning News didn’t refute that story, but reported she only spent a few months living in a trailer with family. During her time at Harvard, the outlet reported, Davis’ husband took out loans and tapped into his 401(k) to help her through school, questioning the image of the state senator as a self-made woman in the eyes of critics.
Ramos asked Davis about attacks from conservatives who say she’s using bogus biographical info to gain votes. “The accusation is that you are misleading voters with your personal story,” Ramos said.
“Those allegations are really absurd, Jorge,” she replied. “My life story is my life story. I am a young woman who had lived in poverty for many years before I was able to work and lift myself out of that place, and I know that there are Texans across the state that are facing the same challenges that I once faced.”
Joining the conservative chorus, Palin wrote a scathing column where she criticized Davis for leaving her children with her husband in Texas while she attended Harvard.
“She left her kid, husband, made it into a false ‘made-for-tv-movie-type-tale’ and then demanded that Texans have the right to kill babies,” Palin wrote. “That’s the woman you libs can really get behind!”
Palin tweeted out the link to the column on Friday.
In the interview on Monday, Davis defended her commitment to her daughters.
“They are the most important thing to me,” she said. “I’m very proud that I’ve been able to be a role model, a friend, a mother to these two beautiful girls that I’ve raised.”