He’s ready to move on from Nuge-a-palooza. What more do you want?
Controversy over Attorney General Greg Abbott’s decision to campaign for governor with Ted Nugent continued to simmer Friday, even after the outspoken rocker apologized for calling President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
Gov. Rick Perry, who has appeared on stage with Nugent, condemned Nugent’s comments during a Thursday appearance on cable TV.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, followed on a subsequent cable appearance by saying Nugent’s comments about the president would never fly out of his mouth. The cascade of criticism continued with U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., also chiming in to blast Nugent.
That set the stage Friday for a rare scene: a somewhat conciliatory Nugent.
“I did cross the line,” Nugent said when asked about his Obama comments by conservative radio host and CNN commentator Ben Ferguson. “I do apologize, not necessarily to the president, but on behalf of much better men than myself, like the best governor in America, Gov. Rick Perry, (and Abbott) the best attorney general in America.”
But Abbott, the likely GOP nominee for governor, continued to brush off pressure from Democrats, who have prodded him all week to not only denounce his appearance with Nugent but to publicly shun other inflammatory comments the rock star has made over the years.
“I believe Ted Nugent recognized his language was wrong and he rightly apologized,” Abbott said in a statement. “This is not the kind of language I would use or endorse in any way.”
Abbott’s campaign swing with Nugent was mired in controversy. And Abbott spent most of the week ducking questions about some of Nugent’s most divisive comments in the past (Abbott repeatedly said when asked about Nugent’s past comments that he was unaware of them).
On Friday, Abbott looked to pivot from the controversy.
“It’s time to move beyond this, and I will continue to focus on the issues that matter to Texans,” he said.
Look, I did my homework, I ate my vegetables, and I cleaned my room. Why am I still being punished for that silly little party I threw last weekend while you were out of town? I wasn’t the one that trashed the living room. My friends did that, and they’ve apologized for it. It’s time to move beyond this and focus on the issues that matter to me.
Luckily for Abbott, it’s a new week, eight day finance reports are about to be posted, and everyone else’s campaign will continue to clamor for attention. There will be other shiny objects to attract us. But as a reminder that Greg Abbott doesn’t get to decide when it’s time to move on, here’s what Wendy Davis was saying over the weekend.
“This isn’t about some aging rock star way past his prime that simply needs to go away,” Davis said during her remarks at the Texas Democratic Women Convention in Austin. “This is about Greg Abbott. It’s about his character, his judgment, his values when he stands on a stage next to someone like that and refers to him as his ‘blood brother.’”
On Saturday, Davis directed her attacks at what she called Abbott’s “cozy relationship” with Nugent, who has previously acknowledged having sex with underage girls.
“We won’t let politicians hide behind the venom and the ugly history of predatory acts targeting underage girls by their campaign surrogates,” Davis said, adding that the campaign appearances called into question Abbott’s leadership.
During her remarks, Davis also criticized Gov. Rick Perry for vetoing the Lilly Ledbetter Act, designed to prevent wage discrimination against women. Davis sponsored that bill in the Senate.
“I can tell you this: I will be sitting at my desk with pen in hand to sign that bill,” Davis said.
And via Kathleen Geier, here’s a roundup of The Nuge’s greatest misogynistic hits, none of which Greg Abbott knew about because no one on his staff knows how to use Google. Peggy Fikac piles on as well. Happy Monday, y’all.