Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who was mocked on Twitter for being in a wheelchair, issued a response that has since gone viral.
On Friday, he posted a video of a young man in a wheelchair climbing a wall. “Never quit. Never give up. Overcome any challenge,” he wrote.
Never give up
Overcome any challenge pic.twitter.com/iVuAW0SY7a
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 23, 2019
A person replied, saying, “God put you in a wheelchair Greg.”
Abbott then responded with a powerful reference to his faith.
“God didn’t cause the accident that left me paralyzed, but He did help me persevere over that enormous challenge,” he wrote on social media. “I’m a testament that the glory of God is revealed by a young man’s back being broken in half and still rising up to be Governor of Texas.”
God didn’t cause the accident that left me paralyzed, but He did help me persevere over that enormous challenge.
I’m a testament that the glory of God is revealed by a young man’s back being broken in half and still rising up to be Governor of Texas.
With God all is possible. https://t.co/HIstfddxuk
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 24, 2019
Other users were more receptive to Abbott’s initial tweet about the man climbing a wall.
Abbott was paralyzed below the waist on July 14, 1984, at age 26 when an oak tree fell on him while he was jogging. Since then, he’s used a wheelchair.
When Abbott ran for governor in 2014, his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, used a political ad referencing his wheelchair. She cited a multi-million dollar settlement he made in 1986 after suing a tree service company and homeowner. For the move, Davis was criticized by some who accused her of acting in poor taste.
A Democratic judge in Texas, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, also apologized in September after making a joke that Abbott “hates trees because one fell on him,” while discussing ordinances at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, according to Fox News.
“In my panel today at the Texas Tribune Festival on ‘Public Enragement’ I spoke about the importance of being able to disagree without being disagreeable. Then I said something disagreeable,” Eckhardt said in a statement, reported The Texas Tribune. “I want to apologize to Governor Abbott. I made a flippant comment that was inappropriate. The comment did nothing to further the debate I was participating in, much less further the political discourse in our community, state, and nation. While the Governor and I disagree on a number of issues, that is no excuse to be disagreeable.”