Abbott Slams Davis’ Wheelchair Ad by Comparing Himself to FDR with Help from Hillary


At this moment in the Texas gubernatorial race, the major narrative involves whether Democratic candidate Wendy Davis was wrong to run an ad pointing out that her GOP opponent, Greg Abbott, is in a wheelchair. While plenty of pundits have their own opinions, with the majority of those being Girl, what were you thinking, Abbott’s campaign posted the following video of…Hillary Clinton?

And she was talking about Franklin D. Roosevelt, and how he wouldn’t have been elected if the world knew about his disability:

According to the campaign’s deputy communications director Amelia Chassé, the clip was “validating criticism of [the] despicable Davis ad.”

A TIME report revealed that rather than hiding Roosevelt’s illness, the press corps at the time wrote about his condition extensively, and the fact that he had polio was well-known to the American public.

However — and perhaps the Abbott team has a point here — the Roosevelt administration went to great lengths to portray FDR as a man who’d overcome polio, and prevented people from taking photos of the president in his wheelchair to maintain the illusion that he wasn’t still paralyzed:

As Editor & Publisher reported in 1936, if agents saw a photographer taking a picture of Roosevelt, say, getting out of his car, they would seize the camera and tear out the film. “By what right they do this I don’t know,” the correspondent wrote, “but I have never seen the right questioned.” A 1946 survey of the White House photography corps confirmed this, finding that anyone the Secret Service caught taking banned photographs “had their cameras emptied, their films exposed to sunlight, or their plates smashed.”

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

— —
>> Follow Tina Nguyen (@Tina_Nguyen) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: