Abbott Dodges Nugent Questions With "I Never Look Back" Response

By Catherine Ross
|  Friday, Feb 28, 2014  |  Updated 3:44 PM CDT
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State Senator Wendy Davis is blasting her opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, about campaigning with Ted Nugent.

NBC 5 News

State Senator Wendy Davis is blasting her opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, about campaigning with Ted Nugent.

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Abbott Dodges Questions About Nugent

When asked about having Ted Nugent at an event as he campaigns for Texas Governor, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he doesn't believe in looking back.

Davis and Abbott Trade Barbs About Ted Nugent

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and Republican opponent Greg Abbott were in North Texas on the first day of early voting Tuesday. But the hot topic was rocker Ted Nugent.
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Less than a week after campaigning with the polarizing Ted Nugent at his side, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott deflected all questions about the outspoken musician at another campaign event in McKinney.

Abbott instead chose to share a personal story he doesn't often bring into the spotlight: The background of the accident that landed him in a wheelchair shortly after he graduated from law school.

"My wife and I had been married less than three years at the time when we had a challenge arise in our lives," Abbott told a room of Collin County Republicans. "[The] tree crashed down on my back, fracturing my back and leaving me paralyzed forever more."

Abbott was injured while jogging and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.

When confronted about the choice of including Nugent, who recently apologized for calling President Barack Obama a "subhuman mongrel," Abbott avoided a direct response, choosing rather to repeatedly use the same metaphor of his accident for his opinion on re-examining the past.

"I learned at that crucial time in my life — you never look back," said the likely Republican gubernatorial candidate. "I never have looked back, about the events that transpired that put me in the wheelchair, and ever since then, I never look back at anything. I look forward, and that's the way my campaign will be run."

When pressed by reporters to if he would have Nugent at his side if he could "do it over again," Abbott maintained the same response.

"If I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't have gone for a jog that day. But I am in a wheelchair because you can't do things over," he said.

"Whatever may have been said in the past about my accident — or anything that was said in the past — that's in the past," he said. "I've learned ever since then — you just move forward."

Abbott has reportedly raised $29.98 million cash on hand for his campaign.

Abbott's likely opponent, Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis, has been openly critical the attorney general's association with Nugent.

Hours after Abbott had an appearance in North Texas, State Senator Wendy Davis was at a dinner in Fort Worth hotel, honoring Pastor Nehemiah Davis.

NBC 5 asked Davis about her campaign, which raised 2.85 million dollars between Jan. 24 and Feb. 22.

“I will thrilled today to report we raised $2.85 million dollars in this 30-day period, which shows continued growing support for our campaign across the state, and was pleased once again to have outraised my opponent for the general election that will be upcoming. I feel really good about where things stand right now,” Davis said.

She was also asked about Abbott’s stops on the campaign trail with rocker Nugent.

“When Greg Abbott embraced Ted Nugent he demonstrated he was embracing the very things that Ted Nugent stands for. He has said some very hostile things,” Davis said.

After the appearance last week, Davis called Nugent "a vile character," saying Abbott's choice to invite him to campaign is "a window into Abbott's character."

Early voting in the primaries continues through Friday. The primary election is March 4 and the general election will be held this November.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.

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