- Remember Ted Nugent? If the sands of the past year have managed to erase all thoughts of the ageing rocker, gun fanatic, and raging conservative, you're in for a rude awakening. Nugent is back in the headlines after declaring (at—where else—a gun website) that President Obama was a "chimpanzee" and a "sub-human mongrel."
- Well, actually, those remarks happened over a month ago. (He also said Hillary Clinton has "spare scrotums.") The real controversy now is whether GOP candidates should be fundraising with him.
- Right now, Nugent is on the campaign trail with the Republican candidate for Texas governor, Greg Abbott. At first, Abbott had nothing but nice things to say about his inflammatory"blood brother." Who else was going to point out how much Abbott's opponent, Wendy Davis, hates guns? (Plus, registration for Abbott's events tripled after Nugent announced he'd be appearing too.)
- But then the current governor of Texas, Rick Perry, started dodging some uncomfortable questions about whether he was offended by Nugent's comments. "I don't take offense," Perry told a Dallas Morning News reporter. "Sorry, but that's just Ted."
- It's true that as far as Nugent-isms go, his comments at the gun show in January were pretty par for the course. When asked, in 2002, how he wanted to be remembered,Nugent replied: "I'm sure that some LSD-infected, Jerry Garcia fan will go, "He killed Bambi!" And that would make me just that much happier. I cause my critics great grief, and that is my greatest joy."
- In 2007, Nugent brought a couple of machine guns onstage for an expletive-filled rant against Obama and Hillary Clinton.
- During the 2012 presidential campaign, he was briefly investigated by the Secret Service for declaring, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year."
- It's not even the first time Nugent has embarrassed Rick Perry. At Perry's 2007 inaugural ball, Nugent appeared in a "cut-off t-shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag" and berated the crowd about non-English speakers. (He brought machine guns to that gig too.)
- It took a few hours for Perry to realize that this time, "That's just Ted" wasn't going to fly with pundits like Wolf Blitzer. Questioned by Blitzer later on Thursday, Perry said that he wasn't going to get into whether Nugent's "tough words" were "appropriate." Pressed further, he admitted that he had a "problem" with calling a sitting president a "mongrel."
- Greg Abbott was less willing to engage on the issue. He literally fled from reporters on Wednesday into a waiting car. Wendy Davis, meanwhile, is using Nugent's presence on the campaign trail to fundraise too.
- The ever media-savvy Ted Cruz took the opportunity to point out that Obama's "Hollywood friends have said some pretty extreme things" too.
- Rand Paul bravely took to Twitter to demand that Nugent apologize. Less bravely, he made no mention of whether Abbott should keep campaigning with Nugent.
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