February 21st, 2014
12:04 PM ET
10 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. Mona

    While this is a free country, calling the POTUS such vulgar language is beyond comprehension! But, considering the
    source some one ought to stuff a sock in it! What these guys are

    February 21, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. wesscott2014

    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. 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?"

    Your point is so far off the mark that it is laughable. The US military would NEVER defend the leaders of the country against the citizens of the country. To do so would mean taking up arms against their own fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and neighbors. That will NEVER happen! But, you are correct about the reason for the Second Amendment – it was included to state our right to defend our country against its own tyrannical government, and for no other reason.

    February 21, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    As far as I'm concerned he lost all credibility way back in the late seventies. Hypocritical lier is his tag.

    February 21, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Randy

    Once a hater, always a hater. What has Citizen Nugent done for us and our country other than spit bile into our public discourse. Thanks a lot Ted for your brilliant observations.

    February 21, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. johnrsenior

    Nugent's a pitiable, ignorant draft-dodging coward who, I hope, doesn't reflect the political sophistication of most Texan's . . . but then only the upcoming election results will indicate whether self-serving nonsensical bluster trumps substance based political leadership.

    February 21, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Greg

    Ted simply proved why some people shouldn't have guns. And "protector" of the 2nd Amendment is in the eye of the beholder. For most of US history, the 2nd Amendment did not meet unfettered access to guns of any kind.

    February 21, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Tony

    He's a waste of good air. Ted never served and is a fool.

    February 21, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Jim Beam

    .......Nugent has the right to freedom of speech, and we have the right to vote with our wallet.

    Boycott the Outdoor channel and all of its sponsors.

    Not just crossed the line–a perpetrator of hate.

    February 21, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Jim

    It's what he believes the retraction is simply a PR move.
    Grow a pair Ted and admit your a racist already it's not like we don't already know.

    February 21, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Mona

    HIDING FROM is the fact that they are truly racists, beyond the pale. Thank you Pres.Obama for what you have been
    able to do for Americans despite all the hindrance from the un/under educated!

    February 21, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Mete Kroo

    There is nothing that you don't listen from the mouth of GOPs. Very Sad!

    February 21, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    @GOP Sucks
    Republicans silently endorse racist comments by Nugent and others to avoid offending their base, and then, like Michael Dunn, complain that THEY are the victims when people call them racists.
    ---------
    Case in point: At a Palin rally, she enjoyed the attention and remained silent as racist signs and monkey dolls were waved around in plain sight. As the women behind the microphone she could have said it was not right but she endorsed it with her silence.

    February 21, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Kim Clark

    I he is not apologizing to the President then . . . . I don't get it. If he is apologizing to "better men than himself" then I would have do say I DO NOT accept his apology. You'll have to check with the other 7 Billion people on earth who are better than nugent. Maybe he's better than that guy in North Korea. To be fair.

    February 21, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. hot mom

    it seems the republican party attracts some pretty nutty people

    February 21, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    I think ted could have used different words, but he was only expressing his anger that has come from the frustration that these political criminals such as Obama, have gone unchecked for so long.

    He did apologize, but I don't think he should apologize a second time. Everybody else needs to just STFU and get over it.

    February 21, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. BethMarie

    Why does any human being think that they are so superior that they can all any other human being (especially the president of the United States) subhuman?

    February 21, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Vader

    That's the worst "non-apology apology" I've ever heard. Nugent, who was only marginally relevant in his heyday, needs to just sit down and shut up.

    February 21, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Cbennett

    Ohhhh, he said he's sorry!! Well then it's all good now? WOW! Idiot

    February 21, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. rick

    Yeah, what he said was a bit over the top, but No different than Sharpton, or Jackson the loonie opposites of the group.
    Rabid mutts fit them better....

    February 21, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Michael

    Although Ted Nugent is a jerk, I can at least respect him for saying what was really on his mind. I am sure there are others who would love to say the same thing if they thought they could get away with it. As for his so-called apology, "I do apologize–not necessarily to the President–but on behalf of much better men than myself,"--That is NOT an apology. An apology is supposed to be directed towards the person one offends. That was a bunch of crap.

    February 21, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. HereWeGoAgain

    *sigh* as much as anyone tries. you can teach old dogs a new trick.

    February 21, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. American Worker

    Fritsch has my vote.

    February 21, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Ron

    For the sake of Texas I wish Cruz and Nugent would tone it down. With that said friends in Texas don't let friends vote Republican.

    February 21, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Curz and Perry have no chance anyway. The two party system is long rigged. Just like Ron Paul got ousted and replaced with Mitt Romney (R.I.N.O.). We will se Christie (Another R.I.N.O.) on the GOP ticket.

    February 21, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. mike hill

    Don't know why he apologized; what he said wasn't untrue.

    February 21, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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