Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) refused to discuss at length any questions concerning his embrace of Ted Nugent, who recently called President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
CNN reporter Ed Lavandera attempted to get Abbott to expand on his accepting Nugent as a spokesperson in his gubernatorial campaign against state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), with limited success.
“You know, it’s funny how reactive the Davis campaign is to this,” Abbott was quoted as saying on Thursday. “It shows that he’s driven a wedge and exposed the fraud that they’ve displayed on Second Amendment-based issues. And so, Ted Nugent was a way to expose Wendy Davis for her flip-flopping on gun-related issues.”
However, Abbott did not explain what connection the racially-inflammatory term had to Davis’ position on gun safety. When Lavandera attempted to follow up his question for a second time, an aide for Abbott touched Lavandera on the shoulder and said, “This press conference is over” as Abbott spoke to someone at a campaign stop.
“That’s not a press conference,” Lavandera protested.
“Everybody got to ask a question,” the aide responded.
“One question is not a press conference,” Lavandera insisted. “We told you. We said specifically what we wanted to talk about.”
When Lavandera attempted to ask Abbott whether Nugent would be appearing with him, the aide stopped him again.
“Why would you associate yourself with someone who describes a sitting president as a ‘subhuman mongrel?’” Lavandera asked as Abbott entered a car. “Who describes female politicians in vile ways? Will you use him again during the campaign?”
The face-off between Abbott and Lavandera came two days after the attorney general’s campaign released a statement saying, “The controversy is what [Nugent] said in the past. We are not endorsing Ted Nugent, he is supporting us. It’s easy to criticize some of the language he has used in the past,” the aide continued. “He is protected under the Constitution, like you and I.”
Watch Lavandera’s attempt to interview Abbott, as aired Thursday on CNN, below.