HOUSTON, Texas — On Friday Texas’ Attorney General Greg Abbott and State Senator Wendy Davis — both gubernatorial candidates — debated in the state’s Rio Grande Valley. During the course of the debate, the issue of education came up. After hearing what Abbott had to say, a defensive Davis spoke when she was not supposed to and even interrupted a moderator multiple times–despite being told that it was not her turn to speak.
The incident began after Davis asked Abbott a question that began, “Judge Dietz has recently ruled against you and in favor of the school children of Texas, ruling that our schools are unconstitutionally underfunded.”
She continued, “The only thing right now coming between our children and appropriate funding of their schools today is you. On behalf of the five million children of this state, will you agree tonight that you will drop your appeals and allow our schools to be appropriately funded?”
Responding to Davis, Abbott confidently responded, “There’s actually another thing coming between me and settling that lawsuit. That is a law that you voted to pass in 2011 that removes from the Attorney General the ability to settle lawsuits just like this. But it’s important to understand that what I want to do is focus on creating, as governor, a better education system in this state.”
“This time we [should] put aside our partisan differences aside when it comes to building a better future for the next generation,” the Attorney General continued. “What I’m focused on is not a school system that was constructed, in part by the last century. What I’m focused on is building a better education system for the next generation. My goal as governor is to work towards elevating the Texas education system to be ranked number one in the nation.”
After Abbott finished speaking, it was the moderator’s turn to speak–but Davis, unable to control herself, spoke over the moderator and would not stop. Clearly on the defense, she was attempting to respond to what Abbott said.
The moderator told her several times to stop speaking. “These are rules we all agreed upon,” the moderator said until Davis finally quieted.
Follow Kristin Tate @KristinBTate.