Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has come under fire this week, particularly from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, for campaigning with Ted Nugent after the rocker called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
Specifically, in January Nugent called the president “a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured, subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster, Barack Hussein Obama.” Nugent dismissed the criticism as being stirred by “people who hate freedom.”
“It’s a free country but that kind of language really doesn’t have any place in our political dialogue,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told CNN last night. “It harms the Republican Party. I’m sure that it harmed that candidate there and it should be obviously repudiated from time to time. He should know, particularly in these days of Twitter and Facebook and the cloak of anonymity of Twitter, we see things that are really totally objectionable and makes you sad, actually to see. So that kind of thing is beyond the pale and I hope that our candidate down there learned a lesson.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry told Blitzer “we agree that that is not appropriate language to use for the President of the United States.”
“I’m not going to get into this side of whether it’s inappropriate or not. There are people who say things all the time. I mean, the idea that Ted Nugent has said something that’s outrageous shouldn’t surprise anybody,” Perry continued. “He shouldn’t have said that about the President of the United States. We need to be focusing on the things that people really care about though…. I think that this will be a news story or two and then we will get back to being focused on what the people of the state of Texas really care about and that is how are you going to make sure that my children have a good future, that I have a job, that we continue to have the energy industry that’s creating lots of jobs.”
When Blitzer broached the subject of Nugent apologizing, Perry interjected, “He may do that.”
“I will put that responsibility on him to address that,” the governor continued. “…Ted and I have been on the stage together. He is a proud and a strong defender of the Constitution of the United States. We’ve all said things that we would like to reel back in. I suggest to you this is probably one of those for him.”
“Those sentiments there, of course I don’t agree with them,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CNN. “You’ve never heard me say such a thing, and nor would I. You know, I will note, there’s a reason Ted Nugent, people listen to him, which is that he has been fighting passionately for Second Amendment rights.”
When asked if he would campaign with Nugent, Cruz replied, “I’m going to avoid engaging in hypotheticals.”
Last night, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) chimed in:
Ted Nugent’s derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize.
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) February 21, 2014
UPDATE 1:30 p.m.: “I do apologize – not necessarily to the president – but on behalf of much better men than myself,” Nugent said today in a radio interview with Ben Ferguson.
Nugent said he apologizes “for using the streetfighter terminology of ‘subhuman mongrel’ instead of just using more understandable language, such as ‘violator of his oath to the Constitution.’”