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Abbott Takes Heat for Nugent Invite

When news broke that Greg Abbott, the Republican front-runner for governor, would be appearing at a campaign stop in North Texas with Ted Nugent, the self-proclaimed “Madman,” Democrats and social media erupted.


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s inaugural get-out-the-vote events on the first day of early voting won't exactly be a standard meet-and-greet. The likely Republican nominee for Texas governor can count on Ted Nugent to make two campaign stops in North Texas memorable.

The legendary rocker has a history of making headlines for his inflammatory comments about nearly every controversial topic imaginable. Last year he wrote in a WorldNetDaily commentary that immigrants “should be treated like indentured servants,” and he has a record of using vulgarities to demean women, likening them to “fat pigs” in a 2012 interview on VH1.

Nugent doesn't mince words when it comes to his political views. The rock guitarist wore a Confederate flag T-shirt to Gov. Rick Perry's 2007 inaugural ball and said critics could "drop dead" if they didn't like it. He has called Hillary Clinton a "bitch” and worse. And ahead of the 2008 presidential election, Nugent referred to then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama as a “piece of shit” and invited him to "suck on my machine gun.”

He went after Obama again last month, referring to the president as a “subhuman mongrel.” 

News of Abbott’s appearance with Nugent, a Republican, generated a flurry of news stories and thousands of tweets — many of them referring to the entertainer's smash talk and controversial past. State Democratic Party leaders criticized Abbott for campaigning with Nugent. Several of them are hosting a teleconference Tuesday prior to the campaign event to condemn Abbott and call on him to cancel the appearances. 

“He spews hate against our first African American president, and in return, Attorney General Greg Abbott welcomes him to the campaign trail,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement Monday.

“I can’t help but recall the old saying, tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are,” he said.

In response to the frenzy, Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch said that Abbott does not “endorse or agree with” everything Nugent says, but added that they welcome “the support of everyone who supports protecting the Constitution.”

“He is a forceful advocate for individual liberty and constitutional rights — especially the Second Amendment rights cherished by Texans,” Hirsch said.

Abbott and Nugent will appear at a local Mexican restaurant in Denton at 11:30 a.m, followed by a coffee house stop in Wichita Falls in the afternoon. The Texas Tribune will be livestreaming the Denton campaign stop courtesy of WFAA-TV in Dallas. 

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/02/18/abbott-takes-heat-nugent-invite/.

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