Sen. Rand Paul pushed back against Ted Nugent’s offensive criticisms of President Obama on Thursday, saying the right-wing rocker should apologize.
Nugent has called the president a “gangster” and a “subhuman mongrel.” Ahead of Obama’s re-election, Nugent predicted he would end up “dead or in jail” if the president won a second term in office.
Nugent has been hitting the campaign trail with Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general. Democrats and liberal groups quickly pounced on Abbott’s embrace of Nugent. “Texans deserve better than a statewide office holder and candidate running for governor who welcomes Ted Nugent and his repugnant comments. I can’t help but recall the old saying, tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa in a statement.
Paul’s tweet is perhaps a step toward the middle for a senator who has clear 2016 ambitions and would likely need to broaden his appeal to be viable in a general election. Paul, for his part, has not shied away from slamming the president in the past. Last January, he condemned the president for acting like a “king.”
Nugent apologized on Friday – sort of.
“I apologize for using the term,” he said, of calling the president a “subhuman mongrel.” “I will try to elevate my vernacular to the level of those great men that I’m learning from in the world of politics.”