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Hannity

Exclusive: Greg Abbott responds to Wendy Davis' attack ad

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 13, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome back to "Hannity." It has to be one of the most disgusting political attack ads of this election cycle. Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who is badly trailing in this race, has released a new ad using a wheelchair to criticize her opponent, Greg Abbott, who is partially paralyzed. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A tree fell on Greg Abbott. He sued and got millions. Since then, he's spent his career working against other victims.  Abbott argued a woman whose leg was amputated was not disabled because she had an artificial limb. He ruled against a rape victim who sued a corporation for failing to do a background check on a sexual predator. He sided with a hospital that failed to stop a dangerous surgeon who paralyzed patients. 

Greg Abbott -- he's not for you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, even with outrage pouring in from both sides of the aisle, at a press conference earlier today, Davis refused to denounce the ad. 

We reached out to Ms. Davis to come on the program. We got no answer. The invitation still stands.

Joining me now with reaction, a "Hannity" exclusive interview, is the Texas attorney general. Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is with us. Probably one of the more shocking ads. What is your reaction to this, sir?

GREG ABBOTT, R-TEXAS, ATTORNEY GENERAL, GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Sean, glad to be with you. Listen, my reaction is if she wants to attack a guy in a wheelchair, that's her prerogative.

As for me, I'm running a different type of campaign. I'm running a campaign that's focused on solving the problems of Texans, like securing the border, keeping Texas number one for jobs, continue fighting against Barack Obama's EPA that's crushing jobs in Texas. So I will focus on the future of Texas, while my opponent continues to attack me.

HANNITY: It seems to be a common theme, though. If you look, every election cycle, there's usually some type of ad that portrays conservatives or Republicans as racist. You saw in the last segment that Republicans are now being blamed for Ebola, that Paul Ryan wants to throw granny over the cliff, this sexist war on women, et cetera, that is brought up now every election cycle.

Is it desperation? Does it need to be answered? I mean, do you want to address any of the issues brought up in that ad about the woman with the artificial limb or the rape victim or any of the other -- or the doctor that's paralyzing people?

ABBOTT: Well, Sean, the irony of it is that all of those things are equally false because there's no one who has a stronger track record for protecting victims of rape as I do. I created an entire new unit at the office of attorney general, where I have arrested more than 4,500 sex offenders and put them behind bars.

And so I have been fighting for Texans, and I have focused my campaign on ensuring that the future of Texas will be even better, while my opponent does nothing more than lodge attacks at me.

HANNITY: Yes. And you -- for those that don't know, you are in a wheelchair.

ABBOTT: I'm in a wheelchair...

HANNITY: Go ahead.

ABBOTT: Yes. What happened is, I was out jogging and a big tree crashed down on me, fractured my vertebrae and leaving me paralyzed. But it was after that that I went on to become a Supreme Court justice and Texas attorney general.

And I got to tell you, Sean, this is a source of great inspiration for so many people across Texas because they see that a person like myself can face challenges and rise above those challenges. That is what I stand for and fight for, for our fellow Texans.

HANNITY: You know, you would think even some Democrats now have been critical of Ms. Davis and her comments. And she had an opportunity to pull back on the ad, and she decided to double down. Here's what she did earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WENDY DAVIS, D-TEXAS GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: This ad is about one thing and one thing only. It's about Greg Abbott's hypocrisy. Greg Abbott rightly sought justice for himself when he sued a tree company and a home owner, and he received a multi-million-dollar settlement in his suit. And ever since in his role as a public servant, Greg Abbott has shown time and time again that he has worked to deny that same justice to others.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: You want to respond to that?

ABBOTT: Well, sure. For one, it shows that her campaign is focused on one thing, and that is attacking me and addressing me.

What Texans really want, they want a governor who has a vision for their fellow Texans and for a brighter future. And that's why I have focused on making Texas an even better place by creating jobs, by solving our traffic problems, by securing our border. Those are the things that Texans want to have focused on. And that is exactly, Sean, what I am doing.

HANNITY: You know, it's very interesting. I think you're raising a good point here. As Republicans are now being accused of being responsible for Ebola, a war on women, killing grandma or being racist, the one thing Democrats don't seem to want to run on is their solutions to the many problems we have.

But I will say that in the past, these negative-style ads tend to work. Is it best to ignore it? Is it best to -- did you sit with your campaign advisers and say, "All right, how are we going to respond to this?"

ABBOTT: Well, as I've mentioned in the past, my opponent can attack a guy in a wheelchair if she wants to. I don't think it's going to sell real well.

And so I'm going to stay focused on the future. You know, you mentioned the problems that a lot of Americans are facing and the way that Democrats are not running on addressing those. The reason is because one of the creators of those problems is the president who is in their party, Barack Obama. And most of what I'm running on is trying to solve the problems that he has created even here in Texas. And my opponent is having to run from Barack Obama, and all she can do is attack me.

HANNITY: All right. We're going to watch the race closely. Mr. Attorney General, gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it.

ABBOTT: Thank you, Sean.

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