Abbott Drops Nugent from Campaign, Won't Condemn Remarks

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 07:18 PM

By Greg Richter

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Greg Abbott's campaign for governor in Texas will not continue to use controversial rocker Ted Nugent at public events, but won't condemn controversial remarks Nugent made about President Barack Obama, CNN reports.

Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday that Abbott is in a "tough spot." The GOP favorite needs to keep very conservative voters in his camp while not angering more moderate Republican women in the suburbs who are being courted by likely Democratic challenger Wendy Davis.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

Many in Abbott's conservative base agree with Nugent's pro-gun views, as does Abbott. But Nugent's description of Obama as a "communist-nurtured, subhuman mongrel" in a January interview amounts to racism, critics say.

Blitzer on Tuesday went after Nugent, saying the term "subhuman mongrel" has roots in the Holocaust. Nazis described Jews with that term as a justification for genocide, he noted.

While the Abbott campaign has not so far disavowed Nugent's specific comments about Obama, it did on Monday make a more general statement.

"While he may sometimes say things or use language that Greg Abbott would not endorse or agree with, we appreciate the support of everyone who supports protecting our Constitution," Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch told The Dallas Morning News.

CNN reported it was allowed to ask Abbott only one question at a campaign stop on Wednesday. Abbott, in his answer, deflected the conversation to Davis. When a CNN reporter attempted follow-up questions about Nugent, Abbott would not answer and members of his campaign staff physically placed themselves between the reporter and Abbott, CNN reported.

Dallas Morning News editorial writer Tod Robberson  said Nugent also has described sex with underage girls as "beautiful" and has called feminists "fat pigs" and other uncomplimentary phrases. 

"That's the kind of guy Greg Abbott invites into his campaign," Robberson writes. "Those are the family values Greg Abbott wants represented on the stage with him as he campaigns."

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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