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 this week 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.'' He said he believed Nugent recognized his language was wrong.