Rick Perry didn’t intend to attack Wendy Davis with his remarks about her past in a speech at a pro-life conference last month.
He denied that he had intended to any insult toward Davis, the Texas Democratic state senator who filibustered against the pro-life bill, in his remarks about her at the National Right to Life Conference. “She was a teenage mother herself,” Perry said of Davis last month. “She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”
“Those comments were meant to be a compliment to her for what she had accomplished in her life,” Perry said today in an interview with Fox News Sunday.
He speculated that the criticism had originated because pro-choice advocates didn’t want to talk about the legislation itself.
“The taking of life after 20 weeks is what this is about,” he said. “The killing of babies that are viable outside their mom’s bodies after 20 weeks is what this is about. A lot of folks really don’t want to talk about that. They would like to focus on practically anything rather than to say we support that process.”
He also indicated he preferred abortion to be dealt with at the state level. When asked about talk that Senator Marco Rubio might introduce a national bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, Perry showed skepticism about the effect of such a bill.
“I’m a big believer that the states are where these issues are best handled,” Perry remarked. “I think it’s the more efficient way. If someone wants to go with a national bill or even a constitutional amendment, that’s their right. It just takes a long time.”
Perry stressed there would no repeat of the gallery outburst that occurred last month when the senate had tried to pass the abortion bill before the session ended.
While Davis has indicated she won’t attempt another filibuster, Perry didn’t rule out another filibuster happening. “If somebody wants to filibuster again,” he commented, “they’re certainly welcome to do that.”