Failed Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis said on MSNBC that “very dangerous political rhetoric” was partly to blame for “fueling” last week’s shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.
The former Democrat state Senator, who became popular after filibustering a late-term abortion ban in Texas, said “there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered about who this person [Robert Lewis Dear] truly is, and what his state of mind at the time was, but we do know that when he was taken into custody, he talked about dead baby parts,” which she said Dear heard “from most candidates on the Republican presidential primary side.”
“I think that both sides of the aisle, all political candidates, and all office holders, have a responsibility to understand and be very careful with the language that they use,” Davis continued. “We see this often in political contests where people will dog whistle to voters and use terms, highly charged terms, that they know will appeal to people’s fears and sadly, people’s intolerance and sometimes their hatred.”
“But the consequence of using language like that, can be very dangerous. I think candidates need to step back, take a deep breath, and understand, as I said before, we have a responsibility to use thoughtful and careful language,” she said.
Davis did not, however, discuss whether her own history of comments, such as saying pro-lifers “endanger the health of countless women” or accusing Texas Governor Greg Abbott of denying justice to a rape victim while on the state Supreme Court, were also examples of overheated rhetoric that could theoretically inspire violence against pro-lifers.