February 21st, 2014
12:04 PM ET
6 months ago

Nugent apologizes for using term 'subhuman mongrel'

Updated 1:03 p.m.

(CNN) - Conservative activist and rocker Ted Nugent apologized Friday for using the term "subhuman mongrel" to describe President Barack Obama.

"I do apologize–not necessarily to the President–but on behalf of much better men than myself," he said in an interview with conservative radio host Ben Ferguson, who's also a CNN political commentator.

Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee this year, came under heavy criticism from Democrats this week for campaigning with Nugent, who's known for making outlandish comments about the President.

Watch Ted Nugent on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" Monday night starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Nugent said he apologizes "for using the streetfighter terminology of 'subhuman mongrel' instead of just using more understandable language, such as 'violator of his oath to the Constitution'."

In his apology, Nugent appeared to regret more the fact that his language has been tied to Republican politicians from his state, such as Abbott, Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

"I apologize for using the term," he said. "I will try to elevate my vernacular to the level of those great men that I'm learning from in the world of politics."

Later on in the interview–after some people on Twitter argued Nugent's comments weren't a real apology–Ferguson asked Nugent if he was directly apologizing to the President for the comments.

"Yes," Nugent replied.

While Perry and Cruz both said they found Nugent's original comment inappropriate, they didn't rule out campaigning with him.

Sen. Rand Paul, however, made headlines when he called on Nugent to apologize Thursday night.

"Ted Nugent's derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize," the Kentucky Republican tweeted.

Asked by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer Thursday in an interview "The Situation Room" about Nugent, Perry said "The idea that Ted Nugent has said something that's outrageous shouldn't surprise anybody."

Perry, who's considering a second bid for the Republican presidential nomination, added that Nugent "shouldn't have said something like that about the President of the United States."

And Cruz distanced himself with what Nugent said in an exclusive interview Wednesday with CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.

"Those sentiments there, of course, I don't agree with them. You've never heard me say such a thing and nor would I," Cruz said.

But the GOP senator, who's also entertaining a 2016 run, embraced Nugent's outspoken stance in support of the Second Amendment.

"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," Cruz said.


Filed under: Greg Abbott • Rand Paul • Rick Perry • Ted Cruz
soundoff (673 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Just once, I would like right wingnuts to realize that Fox does not air stories that make their bagger heroes look bad.

    February 21, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. OdinVonTogan

    Yes, by all means, let us continue with Politics As Usual – because that is working so well for us.
    Nugent, FYI, never did drugs and does not drink alcohol, and runs several charities, food pantries included.
    He does have difficulty bringing himself down to the intellectual level of most people on this diseased planet.

    February 21, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Seattle Sue

    Does not sound like much of an apology to me. Ted Nugent is such a vile human! I would never vote for a person that Nugent campaigns for.

    February 21, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Colorado

    Still noy giong to help him sell any music. He's a has been.

    February 21, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. man

    Too many folks still hiding behind the sheets. The powerful have enlisted the fearmongerers but it will be a backlash.

    February 21, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Robbie

    Mr. Nugent – Sadly, I think you still miss the point in your apology. And you don't have to associate with the "great men" you are promoting to learn patriotism. My father was a Pearl Harbor Survivor and a Silver Star recipient. He came home to be a regular working guy, and a dedicated Republican. But he would have risen from his death bed to punch you out if he had heard that remark. He firmly believed that we owed a duty to and respect for the OFFICE of the PRESIDENT of this country. He might not have been fond of the current occupant of that office but he understood that you cannot expect people to work to improve something that they despise and insult. And the foundation of this country is our government. This country needs to learn what was a given in my father's home. You may argue against the actions taken by those elected to lead our country but you will show them the respect that should be accorded their office – or else. He earned the right to say that with six years of his life as a soldier and to expect it of others. I don't know much about you, but I bet you fail in comparison.

    February 21, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. ErnieS

    Sorry Teddy boy, apology NOT accepted. Just move out the USA already, like you promised!!

    February 21, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    Bill Cassara

    Liberals make comments like this about conservatives every day, and said much worse about George W. Bush. Nary a peep from CNN.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Care to provide some REAL examples of so-called "liberal" public figures who "make comments like this about conservatives every day, and said much worse about George W. Bush?" No? Yeah, it's really difficult to do that when it doesn't /didnt happen.

    February 21, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. wesscott2014

    "In his apology, Nugent appeared to regret more the fact that his language has been tied to Republican politicians from his state, such as Abbott, Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Ted Cruz."

    Let's get this straight – Ted Nugent is NOT from Texas. Ted Nugent is a Yankee from Detroit, Michigan! Somebody from Detroit should not ever refer to anybody else as being a "subhuman mongrel."

    February 21, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. WillyNilly

    Nugent is what my dad would call a half-wit. He should sit down and be quiet. He's not doing conservatives or republicans any favors with is offensive remarks. Decent people don't want to hear him. He's an unattractive old man trying to live his glory days again.

    February 21, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. kenbarlow05

    Nugent trying to spin what his true feelings as politician's do. He should keep his mouth shut and get back to playing music.

    February 21, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. ShawnDH

    Mopery whined: "2nd Amendment rights exist for one reason: To enable the citizenry with the ability to fight against their own nation's army, should the need arise. The NRA needs to push for legalization of fully automatic rifles, SAM missiles, rocket artillery, grenades, mortars, all the stuff we'd need to actually stand a chance against the real military. As we stand now, no amount of semi-automatic weapons will matter when the government can just drone-strike us into oblivion, so what's the point?"
    _________________

    The 2nd Amendment is in no way under threat. That's entirely in the mind of America's paranoid, delusional, gun nut crazies. Also your comment is more like treason than patriotism. Why don't you focus on winning elections vs. violence and treason if you aren't getting your way?

    February 21, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    CryBabies

    Ted on the right...Al on the left.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Care to provide some examples for equivalence? No? Yeah, it's really difficult to do that when it didnt happen.

    February 21, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. Dan

    Obama and Nugent both diss people

    No, no. I have been practicing...I bowled a 129. It's like - it was like Special Olympics, or something." –making an off-hand joke during an appearance on "The Tonight Show", March 19, 2009 (Obama later called the head of the Special Olympics to apologize)

    February 21, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Alina1

    That’s what the Nazis called Jews to justify the genocide of the Jewish community. Subhuman mongrel means "mixed breed"..

    All the Jews in American should donate a stick with s..t on it to the Republican party , till they will learn how to respect Americans of all color.

    February 21, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. rasPutin

    I don't understand the stridency with which the media attacked Ted Nugent by accusing him of using a Nazi term.
    In fact, it was a racial invective he used: Mongrel – of mixed or indeterminate breed.
    This was an attack on Obama's mixed ancestry of a white and black father. Nothing more, nothing less.
    It brings one back to the anti-miscegenation laws that only got repealed by the Supreme Court in the late 1960's.

    February 21, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Umjustsayin

    Just thinking how sad that we lost Philip Seymour Hoffman and we still have Nugent...sigh...

    February 21, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Sam

    Nugent is the Jane Fonda of the Republican Party.

    February 21, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. JB

    If Nugent were President there wouldn't be any animals left, he would have them all shot and eaten.

    February 21, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Drake

    Despite what you may hear, Nugent is joke here in Texas. Yes, he gets a whole lot of the ignorant redneck support but this state also has many progressives who snicker at his every rant.

    February 21, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. marie

    Street fighting terminology for what the Aryan Nations? His subhuman mongrel and chimpanzee words are exactly what you would read in Stormfront!!!!. Its appalling that the governor and the highest law enforcement official in the State of Texas does not see anything wrong with being around this man.

    February 21, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Mopery

    2nd Amendment rights exist for one reason: To enable the citizenry with the ability to fight against their own nation's army, should the need arise.
    ----------------------–
    That is not why the 2nd Amendment exists. That's NRA propaganda. The 2nd Amendment serves as a means to create an army for national defense.

    Try a web search for the phrase "well regulated militia" and you will find that the phrase is used by Pres. Washington in a State of the Union speech a year or so before the Bill of Rights was passed. Washington recognized that the fledgling nation needed a national army, but there was no legal framework for the government to create one.

    Washington asked the Congress to pass legislation that would "allow the creation of a well regulated militia." In those days, most European armies were hired militias, and common people were prohibited from owning weapons. The rogue bands would rape, rob, and steal as they pleased in the name of whatever king they served. In those days, the phrase "well regulated" was equivalent to saying "well behaved."

    Washington wanted an army similar to the one that had won the War. He wanted an army of citizen volunteers. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Amendments, when taken together, meet the directives that Washington had given the Congress in his State of the Union speech.

    February 21, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Loida Escudero

    I sincerely apologize for my remarks, and asks subhuman mongrels everywhere for forgiveness for any pain or distress my comparison has caused them.

    February 21, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Matt

    Um, I don't really count that as an apology. His first words were, "I do apologize–not necessarily to the President..." A true apology is direct. It is what true, honorable MEN do. Of course, Nugent is not a man at all. At best, he's a tempestuous child.

    February 21, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. john

    What Nugent should do is take a giant step back from the debate. He has no horse in the race, he has all the guns he wants and nobody has infringed on his "rights" to stockpile weapons. He has no relevance nor any objectivity so his comments are not needed.

    February 21, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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