AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday condemned inflammatory remarks by Ted Nugent that resurfaced when the outspoken rocker this week joined Republican Greg Abbott's gubernatorial campaign.
Nugent was quoted in an interview with Guns.com last month as calling President Barack Obama a "subhuman mongrel." He appeared with Abbott during two campaign stops Tuesday, a decision that Democratic opponent Wendy Davis called "repulsive."
Perry said on CNN's "Situation Room" that Nugent making outrageous comments shouldn't surprise anyone. But he condemned his language about Obama.
"I got a problem calling the president a mongrel. I do have a problem with that," said Perry, who is not running for re-election. "That is an inappropriate thing to say."
Perry spokesman Lucy Nashed said told The Associated Press that his comments on the program speak for themselves. She said Perry was not available for an interview.
Abbott this week sidestepped questions about some of Nugent's most divisive comments in the past, including Nugent suggesting that immigrants who aren't in the country legally should be treated like "indentured servants" until they earn citizenship.
Abbott said he couldn't respond because he wasn't aware of the remarks. He said he "can't read everything" about those who join him campaigning.
Spokesman Matt Hirsch did not immediately return messages Thursday.
Perry, who had Nugent perform at his inauguration in 2007, declined to address whether it was appropriate for Abbott to campaign with Nugent. He predicted the controversy would soon fade.
"A comment by someone who has come in and endorsed him in the campaign, I will suggest to you is not what this campaign is going to hinge upon," Perry said. "It's going to be on Wendy Davis' very liberal record that is out of line, out of step with the people of the state of Texas."
Davis' campaign earlier Thursday released a letter signed by several Democratic lawmakers who called on Abbott to apologize.
"Your association with Ted Nugent, given his history, is appalling to us. It provides an insight into the values that you will have as Governor of Texas, and it is an insight we find frightening," the letter said.
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