In what has been characterized as pulling the rug out from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the Obama Administration has the following to say about Ted Nugent’s remarks:
“A lot of this other stuff is noise,” his spokesman said today. “[Obama] has made the point that we can’t, as a general rule, police the statements of every supporter.”
I think Obama recognizes it’s not smart politics to go after Ted Nugent. For one, if he did so, he’d elevate Nugent’s status in the debate. He’d turn him into someone the President of the United States feels the need to respond to. Two, he’d risk alienating the people that Nugent speaks to. Three, he’d open himself up to be held accountable for every whacky and nutty thing (and there will be those in spades, on both sides) every minor supporter utters.
I don’t really characterize Obama’s statement as pulling the rug out from Wasserman-Schultz. Smart politics is to let your lower level functionaries make hay out of something like Nugent. The President has to be protected, and that means he needs to maintain the appearance of being involved in all this petty nonsense, while at the same time turning lower level functionaries loose to gin this stuff up in the media.