In the online aftermath of a tweet calling state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, a "Retard Barbie" and an "idiot," a group advocating for Texas women in politics said they have had an outpouring of support.
The tweet was sent on Saturday by Denton Attorney Jeff Rutledge as a comment on the 2014 governor's race, which is currently without a commitment from Davis, and earned a "thanks" from Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott:
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 17, 2013
"Well I was surprised," said Grace Garcia, the executive director of the Texas Democratic women’s group Annie’s List. "I thought it was mean spirited and didn't represent Texas values."
Garcia said since the tweet to Abbott, Annie’s list has had a flurry of social media activity, all of which she labels as positive:
"Well, just online I think you had a lot of people who engaged saying they were surprised, they were disappointed," Garcia said. "And I think what we’ve seen since we launched wewantwendydavis.com is just an outpouring of support encouraging her to run."
Annie’s list is one of four Democratic groups that launched the "We Want Wendy" campaign to show Davis the number of people who want her to run for governor and to get volunteers to sign up to support Davis.
Monday’s follow-up tweet from Abbott tried to clarify his gratitude for Rutledge's show of support:
FYI: I thank supporters on Twitter, but I don't endorse anyone's offensive language. Stay positive.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 18, 2013
Davis said she will announce her decision about a run for governor in early September.