Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), the frontrunner in the race for governor, on Sunday responded to but did not apologize for a tweet thanking a supporter who called state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) an "idiot" and "Retard Barbie."

On Saturday, Jeff Rutledge, who describes himself in his Twitter profile as a "TEXAS Publisher, debater, & attorney," tweeted the following:

Abbott responded to the tweet, writing back:

That set of a flurry of criticism, including from the Democratic Governors Association. On Sunday, Abbott sent another tweet saying he does not endorse "offensive language."

Abbott's spokesman told the Dallas Morning News that the attorney general writes all of his own Twitter messages.

Davis, who became a national figure after a marathon filibuster of legislation to tighten abortion restrictions, has said she will either run for reelection or for governor in 2014. She told supporters Friday she is "very, very seriously considering" a gubernatorial run.