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Greg Abbott Defends Appearance With Ted Nugent; Wendy Davis Calls Rocker 'Repulsive'

Rock musician Ted Nugent became the latest flashpoint in the governor’s race as early voting got underway Tuesday.

Nugent has campaigned with Gov. Rick Perry for years, promoting gun rights and limited government.

But when Democrats learned he’d be appearing with Republican Greg Abbott, they called it an outrage. 

They highlighted some of the Motor City Madman’s derogatory name calling, his referring to feminists as “fat pigs” and “dirty whores” and to President Obama as “a communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.” 

They identified a documentary in which Nugent reportedly said he had affairs with underage girls several decades ago.

At a Fort Worth polling location, Wendy Davis, the leading Democratic opponent for governor, said Abbott’s campaigning with Nugent is an insult to Texans, especially women. 

“I think the fact that Greg Abbott is embracing those values is repulsive,” Davis said.  “And I think that for Greg Abbott to him, to stand with him (Nugent) on this important day for early voting demonstrates what his values are. “

Forty miles to the north in Denton, at his get-out-the-vote rally, Abbott defended his choice of campaign headliners.

“I don’t know what he may have said or done in his background.  What I do know is that he stands for the Constitution.  He stands against the federal government overreaching,” Abbott said as he tried to turn the tables on Davis.

Credit Shelley Kofler / KERA News
At a Denton rally Greg Abbott defended Ted Nugent for defending the constitution and advocating gun owner rights.

“Ted Nugent bothers Wendy Davis because he highlights the way that Wendy Davis has flip-flopped and flipped again on second amendment rights.”  

Last week, Davis said she supports allowing Texans to openly carry guns as long as they go through proper training and background checks. Abbott says the flip-flop came when she then said she’d allow individual businesses and property owners to opt out.

Davis explained Tuesday that she wants to balance the rights of individuals to carry weapons while respecting private property rights.

“Every municipality, every school district, every hospital, every private business owner has the right to say if this is something that’s appropriate on their property,” Davis said.

In Denton, Nugent edged away from reporters but briefly fired back when pressed about Davis making him a campaign issue.

“She ought to because she has nothing meaningful to campaign on so she has to be a Pelosi attack dog,” Nugent said. He added that Davis and Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House minority leader, are two of a kind.

“They’re dishonest, anti-American people,” he said of the two elected officials.

Following the stop in Denton, Nugent traveled with Abbott to another rally in Wichita Falls.  

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.