February 20th, 2014
08:49 AM ET
9 years ago

Cruz disagrees with Nugent, but doesn't rule out campaigning with him

Beaumont, Texas (CNN)  GOP Senator Ted Cruz told CNN he doesn't agree with 65 year old rocker Ted Nugent's explosive comments – calling President Obama a "subhuman mongrel" –  but the Texas Republican would not rule out campaigning with Nugent in the future.

"Those sentiments there, of course, I don't agree with them. You've never heard me say such a thing and nor would I," Cruz told CNN in an exclusive interview.

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But when asked if he would campaign with Nugent, a popular figure in Texas, Cruz responded  "I haven't yet and I'm going to avoid engaging in hypotheticals."

Cruz's comments to CNN came a day after Nugent campaigned with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the likely GOP nominee for governor. The move sparked some outrage across the country, given what Nugent said about the President just last month.

"I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame, enough Americans to be ever-vigilant not to let a Chicago communist raised, communist educated, communist nutured, sub-human mongrel, like the Acorn community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama, to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America," Nugent told Guns.com last month.

CNN played those comments for Cruz, who said it was the first time he had seen them.

"I think it is a little curious that, uh, to - to be questioning political folks about rock stars.  I've got to tell you, listen, I'm - I'm not cool enough to hang out with any rock stars.  Jay-Z doesn't come over to my house.  I don't hang out with Ted Nugent," said Cruz.

When reminded Jay-Z doesn't call the President a subhuman mongrel, Cruz replied that he'd be willing to bet "the President's Hollywood friends have said some pretty extreme things."

Nugent, a Texas resident, is very popular with many in the Lone Star State, not in spite of controversial comments he makes about the President and other Democrats, but because of it.

Abbott's campaign aides admitted that they invited Nugent to campaign with him Tuesday, the first day of early voting in the Texas primary election, because he can draw crowds and gin up the GOP base.

As for Cruz, he distanced himself from Nugent's degrading and racially tinged comments about the President, but embraced Nugent's outspoken stance in support of the second amendment.

"I will note, there are reasons Ted Nugent - people listen to him, which is that he has been fighting passionately for Second Amendment rights. And - and this administration has demonstrated an incredible hostility to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," said Cruz.

"I don't think we should be focused on the personalities and - and - and Hollywood celebrities and like.  We should be focused on the substance. The substance is our constitutional rights and liberties are being undermined.  And the substance is millions of Americans are hurting because we are trapped in an economic stagnation from failed policies from the Obama administration," Cruz added.

Filed under: 2014 • President Obama • Ted Cruz • Texas
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Excuse me, Senator. How's your renouncement of your Canadian citizenship coming along? Speaking of which, how's your U.S. citizenship coming along, too? You know, declaring that you're "automatically a U.S. citizen" when you've been born in a foreign country might fly with your base, but it doesn't fly with the facts, or the law. You're supposed to have filed for U.S. citizenship, which would have been automatically granted. But, you claim that you didn't have to do that....simply because you're Ted Cruz, resident of Texas.

    February 20, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. S.B. Stein

    It really makes someone wonder if people like Cruz, who apologize for Nugent, really know what is going on. I know we have freedom of speech which allows people to say most things, but Nugent really shows that he has no decency. As an example, I wouldn't say that of George W. Bush while I still question his intelligence and disagree with his policies that he enacted while being the president.

    February 20, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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