Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis’ (D) daughters, Amber and Dru, defended their relationship with their mother Tuesday in detailed open letters reflecting on their upbringing.
Davis has fielded attacks from a number of conservatives over the past week, after a Dallas Morning News report poked some holes in the trailer-park-to-Harvard biography touted by her gubernatorial campaign.
“I hate that I feel the need to write this, but I have been reading and hearing so many untrue things about my mom and I want to set the record straight,” Davis’ younger daughter Dru wrote, as quoted by the Washington Post. “And sadly I feel the need to be crystal clear on the malicious and false charge of abandonment as nothing could be further from the truth.”
Many of Davis’ critics took issue with her attending Harvard Law School while her daughters stayed behind with their father in Texas. Here’s what Dru had to say on that subject:
We lived with her the first semester, but I had severe asthma and the weather there wasn’t good for me. My parents made a decision for my sister and me to stay in Texas while my mom kept going to school. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t there for us. She traveled back and forth all the time, missing so many classes so that she could be with us. Her friends were such a big help. Especially her third year, when she would only go to school two weeks out of the month and her friends would share class notes so she could try to keep up while she was home with us in Fort Worth.
Davis’ older daughter Amber crticized conservatives’ focus on details like how many months she lived in a mobile home with her mother, insisting that Davis’ struggle was no campaign trail fib:
My mother had me when she was very young, a kid herself. And although she was married for a short period of time, parenthood was her sole responsibility. Yes, we lived in a trailer. Does it matter how long? Not to me. Even though some people have tried to question my own memories; I do remember the trailer, as well as the apartments that we lived in during the years that followed. I know that I was my mother’s first priority and that she wanted a better life for me than the one she was living. She worked 2 jobs and went to community college at night. She refused to repeat the life her family struggled in growing up.
Davis herself responded earlier Tuesday to a sharply critical blog post written by Bristol Palin, the daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
“With all due respect to Miss Palin, of course, nothing that was said in that tweet is true,” she told Fusion’s Jorge Ramos. “I am very proud of the mother that I have been to my daughters. I have always been and will always be the most important female in their life.”
The Washington Post has copies of Dru and Amber Davis’ full letters, as released by Davis’ campaign.