May 7, 2014      1:06 PM
Dewhurst and Patrick clash in a very personal debate in Dallas
Questions of character frame the knock-down drag-out
DALLAS – Sen. Dan
Patrick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
pulled no punches on Wednesday in a 45-minute televised debate that one candidate
would later describe as childish. Patrick said “I think it was in the seventh
grade” the last time he had heard something like a question lobbed by Dewhurst
about the senator from Houston selling snake oil for his receding hairline.
Yes, that was the tone of it as the GOP candidates in the
Lite Guv runoff debated things like immigration, women’s health, equal pay for
women, Patrick’s name change and just what exactly Dewhurst had for dinner the
night of an abortion debate in the Texas Senate.
Patrick seized on the fact Dewhurst said on Wednesday
that he ate some chicken at Austin Land and Cattle while talking
with his political consultant Rob
Johnson on a night last summer when Democrats were unsuccessfully trying to
amend abortion legislation. “Now, it’s chicken!” Patrick said, looking a bit
Dewhurst has said – and repeated in Dallas – that when he
left the chamber that night to visit the steakhouse, senators were working
through Democratic amendments that had no chance of adoption.
Before Wednesday’s debate even got underway, the Patrick
campaign released a statement saying the incumbent had succumbed to pressure
and stopped airing “offensive TV ads.” Patrick repeated that claim to reporters
and his chief strategist Allen Blakemore
said Dewhurst has “gone dark,” but TV contracts
show Dewhurst is still airing ads.
By Scott Braddock