Rock musician Ted Nugent appeared with Republican governor hopeful Greg Abbott in North Texas this morning – and that’s attracting criticism from Wendy Davis, Abbott’s Democratic rival.
Davis, in Fort Worth this morning, said she thought that Abbott appearing with Nugent on the first day of early voting spoke volumes about the Republican candidate, saying it was “an insult to every woman.” Davis said that’s because Nugent has demeaned women verbally and otherwise.
Democrats and women’s groups are criticizing Nugent for his controversial comments and relationships with underage girls when he was younger.
In a documentary on VH1, Nugent once said: “I was addicted to girls." Nugent has also described certain female politicians as "fat pigs."
Nugent also made controversial comments last month about President Obama, calling him a “communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.”
"We had a Wendy Davis in Detroit"
More than 100 supporters were at El Guapo’s restaurant in Denton to hear Nugent and Abbott. Nugent called Abbott a defender of the Constitution.
Nugent, who hails from Detroit, told the crowd he left the Motor City because “liberal Democrats” had led to the city’s suicide. Detroit has become a city of dependence, he said.
Nugent said: “We had a Wendy Davis in Detroit – her name was Jennifer Granholm,” Michigan’s former governor.
Abbott called Nugent a fighter for freedom. During his brief speech, Abbott talked about the importance of the state’s voter ID law, which requires voters to have photo ID, and how to improve transportation.
Abbott unaware of Nugent's past
After the campaign stop, reporters tracked down Nugent in a parking lot outside the restaurant and asked him to respond to Davis’ charges.
Nugent compared Davis to Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Congress member.
“Both are dishonest anti-American people,” he said.
Abbott told reporters that he doesn’t know what Nugent has done in the past. He said Nugent is a strong defender of the Constitution and of Second Amendment rights.
“I don’t know what he may have said or done in is background," Abbott said. "What I do know is Ted Nugent stands for the Constitution. He stands against the federal government over-reaching.”
The Texas Tribune reports that at the Denton event, Nugent "played it safe, calling Abbott 'the epitome of what our founding fathers wanted.'"
"Greg Abbott and only Greg Abbott will keep Texas free — will keep Texas Texas," Nugent said.
Nugent also said that veterans are "heartbroken about what the liberal Democrats are doing to the Constitution."
Campaign defends partnering with Nugent
Critics include Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, a political action committee. He said on the group's website: "Greg Abbott has crisscrossed our state publicly promising to protect Texas women and children – while he’s been making plans to appear at campaign events with an admitted sexual predator."
Davis told reporters in Fort Worth: “Greg Abbott’s embrace of Ted Nugent and his ideals is an insult to every woman in Texas and it should be an insult to every man, every husband, brother, father, son, in Texas."
The Abbott campaign is defending the use of the rock musician. Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch told the Houston Chronicle: “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.”
Both Davis and Abbott are campaigning in North Texas this morning as polls open on the first day of early voting. Abbott and Nugent are traveling to Wichita Falls later today.
Davis was in Fort Worth, voting early at the Charles Griffin Sub-Courthouse in Fort Worth. She was accompanied by Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks.
Davis supports proposed "open carry" law
In other campaign news, earlier this month, Davis said she supports a proposed “open carry” law that would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to wear a pistol in full view while in public.
Davis said Tuesday that she wants to make sure that people with an open-carry license are properly trained and that background checks are conducted.
She said Tuesday that she keeps a weapon in her nightstand. She did not identify the weapon.
— Alana Rocha (@viaAlana) February 18, 2014