The daily blast from the Hutchison campaign includes this discussion:
Texas had the 4th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country in 2005, according to a new study. That’s up one notch from 5th highest in 2000, according to new data from the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights and is a leading source of data on abortion-related trends. Overall, the group reported a 3 percent increase in the nation’s teen pregnancy rate in 2006, a year after reaching its lowest point in three decades.
KBH’s daily release frequently carries bits of bad news about Texas. Yesterday’s selection was about rising employment. The unstated message, of course, is that these things are happening on Rick Perry’s watch. I don’t think that trumpeting bad news about Texas is very smart. When things go badly for Texas, they don’t just happen to Rick Perry. They happen to all of us.
Nor do I think that it was wise to bring up the teen pregnancy data. The immediate question that comes to mind is, What do you propose to do about it? A debate is coming up on Thursday, and a very good question to ask is, “Senator Hutchison, you have expressed concern that Texas has the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in the country. Do you support the state’s policy of abstinence-based sex education or would you favor sex education that provides students with information about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases?”
The latest release from the Perry campaign was yesterday. It sounded the familiar theme of Hutchison not doing the job she was elected to do:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison continued to ignore her responsibility to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate today when she skipped a vote for the 26th time during the 111th Congress.
While the Senate was voting this afternoon on the nomination of a U.S. district judge, Sen. Hutchison was campaigning in at a saddle shop in Amarillo. The Senate also spent the day debating raising the federal debt ceiling, something Sen. Hutchison is very familiar with and supported nine times.
“It is ironic that Sen. Hutchison skipped a vote on the same day the Senate debated raising the federal debt ceiling, something she has already voted for nine times,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “Sen. Hutchison continues to shortchange the people of Texas by choosing to campaign instead of representing the needs and concerns of the people who elected her.”
This message has been a staple of the Perry campaign. It plays to the angry voter. If she is in Texas campaigning, the Perry campaign says that she isn’t doing her job. If she is in the Senate for a vote, they manufacture a reason why she voted wrong. Politically sophisticated voters understand that she has to campaign in Texas. Let’s see, there must be four or five them, at least.