exp wendy davis ad _00002001.jpg
Wendy Davis defends ad
00:34 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Wendy Davis explains her "intent" of a new controversial ad against Greg Abbott.

The two are competing to become the next governor of Texas.

Abbott's campaign slammed the ad and put out its own video on Monday.

CNN  — 

Texas state senator Wendy Davis defended her campaign’s political ad that features an empty wheelchair and attacks Greg Abbott, saying “the intent was to demonstrate (his) hypocrisy.”

Davis, a Democrat who’s running against Abbott for governor this fall, told CNN affiliate KSAT in San Antonio on Saturday that Abbott has unfairly tried to block cases as attorney general that have similarities his own history.

“He rightfully had an opportunity to access the justice system when he was at the receiving end of a tragic accident,” Davis said. “But ever since he’s been actively fighting to close that door and deny access to others who have been wronged and who deserve to have their day in court.”

Abbott, who was elected attorney general in 2002, was partially paralyzed after a tree fell on him while he was jogging at the age of 26. He has remained in a wheelchair ever since and won what’s believed to be at least $10 million in a settlement related to his injury, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Davis’ campaign ad, which was released Friday, opens with an empty wheelchair and mentions the money Abbott received after his freak accident. It goes on to cite two other cases — one related to a disability, the other related to a rape — and argues that Abbott sided with the defendants.

Abbott’s campaign called the ad “disgusting” and put out a web video Monday highlighting statements from the media decrying the spot. The video blasts Davis as being “unfit for governor.”

But Davis, who trails Abbott in recent polls, argued this weekend that he “has shown that he cares only about advancing his own interests, and often to the exclusion of other people.”

CNN’s Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.