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It's hard to imagine a bigger softball question than this: After playing a clip of GOP surrogate Ted Nugent calling President Obama a "sub-human mongrel," CNN reporter Dana Bash asked Texas Sen. Ted Cruz whether it was appropriate for Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott to campaign with Nugent. But instead of saying "no"—or at least saying that he disagreed with Nugent—Cruz's first instinct was to dodge the question:
Oh, look, I had not seen that video until you just played it.
If I were in Bash's shoes, I don't think I could have stopped myself from laughing right in Cruz's face. I mean, the video was of Nugent calling the president a communist-raised sub-human mongrel. What more does Cruz need to see before condemning it? But Bash maintained her composure and asked Cruz for his reaction now that he'd seen it. He still dodged:
You know, I think it is a little curious that -- to be questioning political folks about rock stars. I've got to tell you, listen, 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.
But, pointed out Bash, Jay-Z never called the president a "sub-human mongrel." This apparently stumped Cruz, who responded thusly:
Bash, to her credit, didn't let Cruz off the hook, as you'll see after the jump.

Was what Nugent said appropriate, Bash asked? Again, Cruz refused to answer:

I would be willing to bet that the president's Hollywood friends have said some pretty extreme things.
Bash stayed on the case, and after at least a minute of hemming and hawing, she got an answer:
Look, those sentiments there, of course I don't agree with them. You've never heard me say such a thing, and nor would I.
But then, even after he grudgingly rejected Nugent's remarks, Cruz heaped praise on Nugent—and partially blamed President Obama for the fact that Nugent has an audience:
"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.
So after a minute of prodding, Ted Cruz finally conceded that he didn't agree with Ted Nugent's remarks ... yet he still managed to find a way to blame them on President Obama. Because apparently everything in America is Barack Obama's fault. Even Ted Nugent.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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