February 20th, 2014
08:49 AM ET
8 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. Wake up People!

    Sure he disagrees with Nugent. Sure he does.


    February 20, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. smith

    People should really just pay no attention to the likes of Nugent. If we did, he would fade away. I really think that`s why alot of these hollywood drama queens make rash statements. Kayne, Rosie, Nugent, and etc are all the same.

    February 20, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Here goes another Republican demonstrating just how low the party has sank. Conservatives complain about Pres. Obama being divisive and hateful, but those same conservatives have, will, or might *invite* an outspoken, divisive, and hateful person on the campaign trail with them. And get this, they get on the campaign trail and make hateful sounding speeches, while blaming the President for making them do it.

    February 20, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. Pete

    Go ahead Cruz go campaigning with the cat scratch draft dodger ..Hey Nugents becoming a legend but to himself and its clear after calling Pres.Obama subhuman and a mongrel his head like yours and most republicans on these sites need tending too like a complete psychological exam with scripts for zanax or other drugs to help you get through these troubled times leading to your collegues dismissal at midterms..

    February 20, 2014 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Anything to garner the hate votes. These people are despicable. You don't agree with Nugent's comments but you don't mind campaigning with him. Good way to hide your hate Rafael.

    February 20, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    It makes you wonder how many republicans have soiled themselves to avoid the military.

    February 20, 2014 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Name calling is what Dems do.........but there is no doubt, that Obama is indeed a dictator, and I think he will eventually seek to try and become dictator to the world......and not just America.

    February 20, 2014 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. Wake up People!

    Show us your birth certificate Cruz....

    February 20, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. Joi Gibson

    Really now. Your father has said pretty outrageous things about President Obama – such as sending him back to Kenya – do you agree with that? You talk out of your backside. Enough with the infringement on 2d Amendment rights – no one is coming for them there guns of yours. If you care so much about rights, what about a woman's right to privacy for her own medical decisions.

    February 20, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    This guy is a crazy guy. I don't know he he is elected. This means USA needs education desperately.

    February 20, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    "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.
    TRANSLATION: "I love the support of the people who share those sentiments, and will always pander to them."

    February 20, 2014 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ted Cruz. $arah Palin. Rand Paul.

    Yeah. Let's talk about the polarization of American politics and just how low these folks will go to get their fund raising coffers filled.

    February 20, 2014 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. tom l

    "He has been slamming Ted all day long. "

    That's because Nugent undeniably spewed racist hate and used language the Nazis used to use about the Jews to accomplish it. What don't you understand about that?
    What about when in Arizona they used the phrase "show me your papers"? Same thing but you agree with the principle behind it so that's ok. Oh, and Ol Yeller has compared the TEA Party to Nazis. Again, silence from Sniffit. And when Ol Yeller through out the "show me your papers" with regards to voter ID? Silence from Sniffit again. Why? We all know why. Because of WHO said it. Very hypocritical of you Sniffit put par for the course.

    February 20, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. emskadittle

    will he pretend to like his music?

    February 20, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    Focused on personalitites: incredible statement from an individual who believed that his interpretation of the Constitution was more important than the full faith and credit of the nation. His obcession with being ideologically correct and being the center of attention is what is at the core of why we are not getting things done.

    February 20, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Dead Bear

    Both Ted's and their popularity amongst the GOP says a lot about the mentality of the rank and file Republicans in this country. I'm glad Nugent never drank or did drugs as it is obvious he doesn't have many brain cells to spare. Cruz, on the other hand, has been described as a genius when it comes to litigation. Unfortunately for him that intelligence doesn't seem to have transitioned into his public service life. He consistently has shown me that he only cares about his views and that of the most extreme voters in Texas and not of this country's population as a whole. This man will never be President, ever.

    February 20, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. guest

    ah painted into corners, a typical republican position. Unfortunately their response to such positions is to usually mess up all the paint, maybe one day they will figure out how to not trap themselves in the corners while the paint is still going down.

    February 20, 2014 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Al-NY,NY

    if Joe McCarthy disagrees with the worthless geezer Nugent, he won't have him campaign with him. Nice job of your usual double-talk there Joe

    February 20, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Like with Abbot, Cruz shows his true colors too. How can you not agree with someone publicly but still have them campaign with you?

    February 20, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Peace

    On this I agree with Cruz. Since I started hearing him talk, I came to realise that he respects the Office of President and the one who was elected to occupy it, that is Pres. Obama. One can go through all tapes recorded about Cruz and not even once will be able to come across even a single tape where he used an abusive language. I praise him on that.

    February 20, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. The REAL Truth...

    At least Cruz is smart enough to NOT be labeled as an extreme right wing nutcase without an ounce of respect for anyone but themselves... oh wait!

    February 20, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. The Elephant in the Room

    Didn`t Raphiel Cruz just criticize other politicians for being cowardly and dishonest?

    Seems like Cruz is no different if he claims to "disagree" with Nugget but is willing to embrace him.

    February 20, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Boomer in Mo

    If he doesn't agree with him, he shouldn't appear with them. But Nugent simply voiced aloud what many older, white GOP members actually think (I've got lots of them in my family, they are racist to the nth degree.) And if Cruz appears with Nugent, I think it is because he agrees with him too, regardless of what he says. As long as the old southern democrats are the base of the GOP, it will be a racist party, at least in part. The old white guys are dying off, and that may save the Republicans from going the way of the Whigs.

    February 20, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. ChrisM

    What is it about the repub rwnjs love of the insane. Do republicans really like ol crappy pants, draft dodger Nugent that much. Sure does look like it

    February 20, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Brad Becker

    Cruz: I would never say those things about Obama (but I'm thinking about standing next to some guy who will say them for me).

    February 20, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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