AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott says Ted Nugent “rightly apologized” for degrading comments that resurfaced after Abbott welcomed the polarizing rocker to his campaign for Texas governor.

Rocker Ted Nugent introduces Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott during a stop, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Denton, Texas, to promote early voting. Wendy Davis is the Democratic opponent. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ron Baselice)

But Abbott in a statement Friday didn’t back away from inviting Nugent in the first place. He said “it’s time to move beyond this” after his appearance with Nugent put Abbott on the defensive for one of the first times in his campaign.

Nugent last month called President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” in an interview. He apologized earlier Friday after Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky disavowed the remark.

Abbott said Nugent’s comment was “not the kind of language I would use or endorse in any way.”

Democrats have called on Abbott to distance himself from Nugent.

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