clear
Thursday May 7th, 2015 2:45AM

Texas AG welcomes Nugent's apology for Obama slur

By The Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott says Ted Nugent "rightly apologized" for degrading comments that resurfaced after Abbott welcomed the polarizing rocker to his campaign for Texas governor.

But Abbott in a statement Friday didn't back away from inviting Nugent in the first place. He said "it's time to move beyond this" after his appearance with Nugent put Abbott on the defensive for one of the first times in his campaign.

Nugent last month called President Barack Obama a "subhuman mongrel" in an interview. He apologized earlier Friday after Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky disavowed the remark.

Abbott said Nugent's comment was "not the kind of language I would use or endorse in any way."

Democrats have called on Abbott to distance himself from Nugent.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Mitt Romney rallied with Kid Rock and President George W. Bush had a fan in Alice Cooper. But a Ted Nugent encore in the Texas governor's race is growing unlikely after blowback from Republican Greg Abbott's embrace of the ultimate shock rocker.

Call it a rare case of veering too far right in Texas this election year.

Abbott, the leading Republican candidate to succeed Gov. Rick Perry, remained silent about Nugent Friday after taking heat this week for inviting the brash gun-rights guitarist to appear with him at campaign events. Nugent has suggested treating immigrants like "indentured servants" and last month was quoted calling President Barack Obama a "subhuman mongrel."

Perry disavowed that language by Nugent - who played at Perry's inauguration in 2007. Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a tea party favorite like Abbott, also rebuked Nugent by late Thursday.

"Ted Nugent's derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize," Paul tweeted.

Nugent did just that Friday, telling Dallas radio station WBAP that he apologized "for using the street fight terminology of subhuman mongrel." But he maintained that Obama was a "liar" violating the Constitution.

The Nugent flap was the latest example of GOP candidates staying unabashedly to the right as they approach the state's March 4 primary, which will move Texas closer to its biggest power shakeup in a decade. Every statewide office could change hands this November. Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz could also present two potential 2016 presidential candidates from Texas.

The tone of the GOP race contrasts with assertions by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and her party that Texas is becoming a broader political battleground as its demographics change.

Provocative conservative proposals to repeal the 17th Amendment, which lets voters - not state legislatures - pick U.S. senators, have been kicked around in the race for lieutenant governor. One of the candidates called the flow of immigrants from Mexico an "invasion." Anti-abortion credentials are discussed as freely as energy ideas among Republicans vying to regulate the state's oil and gas industry.

Within the last year, Texas passed a divisive 20-week ban on abortions, imposed cuts that caused Planned Parenthood clinics to shutter and enacted one of the nation's most stringent voter ID laws. That hasn't protected the Republican House speaker, however, from a far-right group that has collected six-figure donations for primary challengers against him and top lieutenants.

The tack reflects a clear judgment about Republican voters' tastes. "All they seem to argue about is who's the most conservative - which is good for me," said voter Bob Baker after taking his seat at a Republican primary debate near Austin. "Just as normal as they shouldn't have any conservatives in New York, we shouldn't have any liberals in Texas."

But the Nugent episode isn't the first time a leading Republican may have touched a nerve. State Rep. Jason Villalba, a rising Republican star in Texas, sharply urged his party's four lieutenant governor candidates to stop using harsh rhetoric about immigrants in the country illegally and "acknowledge the humanity" in an open letter this month.

"They're not war-mongering adversaries. They're seeking the American dream," Villalba said.

Abbott, who's been state attorney general since 2002 and boasts of suing the federal government 30 times, has essentially run a general-election campaign from the start. Abbott said inviting Nugent magnified a contrast with his Democratic opponent, who has made her pitch for conservative voters by coming out in favor of "open carry" gun laws before qualifying her stance.

But the Nugent appearance left Abbott on the defensive for one of the first times in the race.

"I don't know what he may have said or done in his background," Abbott said following a rally with Nugent on Tuesday. "What I do know is Ted Nugent stands for the constitution. He stands against the federal government overreaching and doing what they're doing to harm Texans."

Perry, who isn't seeking re-election after 14 years in office, said Thursday he's "got a problem" with calling the president a mongrel and called the language inappropriate. But he predicted voters would not be distracted from Davis' "liberal" record.

Nugent, who's also treasurer of a Republican candidate for Texas agriculture commissioner, said Texas must defend its brand of ultra-conservatism.

"This is special. There is no other Texas anymore," he said. "This is last bastion of rugged individualism, of true independence."
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 4 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 4 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 4 months ago )
Politics
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 3 weeks ago )
US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself
WASHINGTON (AP) — A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following a suicide by a man carrying a protest sign.The man died after shooting himself on the...
6:15PM ( 3 weeks ago )