(CNN) – Conservative activist and rocker Ted Nugent, whose comments referring to President Barack Obama as a "subhuman mongrel" sparked outrage across the political spectrum, insisted Monday that his remarks were not racist.
In an interview with CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront," Nugent said he would "stop calling people names," but he didn't back off the incendiary rhetoric that landed him in the political spotlight in recent weeks.
"Instead of using terms like ‘subhuman mongrel,’ I'm going to get right to the meat of the matter where our president is a liar. He lies about you can keep your doctor period. Over and over again he lies about Benghazi. He's lying about the IRS," Nugent said.
"So I won't call him names anymore. I'm going to get right down to the nitty-gritty and identify the criminal behavior by the people abusing power in the United States government."
Last month, Nugent called the president a "subhuman mongrel" in an interview with Guns.com.
"I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame, enough Americans to be ever-vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America."
He later apologized, though not necessarily to Obama.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee this year, came under heavy criticism from Democrats this week for campaigning with Nugent, and conservatives on the national political stage, such as Texans Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz, have distanced themselves from Nugent.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky struck a more stringent tone when he called on Nugent to apologize, which he did last week in a radio interview.
"They think I'll be more effective if I back off that Detroit street fighter rock 'n’ roll stage rhetoric," Nugent told Burnett. "I'm here to tell you I'm going to do that because I do respect people like Gov. Perry and the great Greg Abbott and Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and because I do represent a lot of the same people that they do, believe it or not, I think I owe it to those great Americans to be more civil when I represent them."
After Nugent apologized, he quickly pivoted to what he sees as a bias in the media, attacking CNN and other news outlets in the "propaganda industry" for seizing on his original comments.
Before the interview, Nugent prodded Burnett to listen to comments Obama made on "The View," where he used the word mongrel. In the clip, Obama used the word to underscore the need to treat people of different races with respect.
"The interesting thing about the African-American experience in this country is we are sort of a mongrel people," Obama said in a 2010 interview on the ABC show. "I mean we're all kind of mixed up. That's actually true for white America as well, but we just know more about it. So I'm less interested in how we label ourselves and more interested in how we treat each other."
Nugent said the President is "creating class warfare intentionally to get Americans to draw this line in the sand where I've never seen such political discourse in all my life."
CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.
Nugent you are an imbecile, please stop talking, at least your music was good.
SO WHAT! on the view in 2010 0bama called all americans a Mongrel PPl .He said we are all mixd up . .google it . The def of subhuman is n0t showing the level of kindness an intellgence that is exspected from n0rmal human beings ! they are m0re but thats the first 1 . sticks an stones man ! dim dont even no that old saying . wow !
This is from the same guy that promised to leave the country if President Obama wast re-elected, well President Obama was re-elected and this liar is still here.
LOL this guy sounds lie he is being fed the same talking points emails that the talking heads at Fox receive every morning...
He's how old, and he just learned to stop calling people names? Uh...good for him? He adds nothing to the public discourse but childish rants. He cowardly avoided the draft so that others could defend his right to rant like a spoiled, ignorant child. His "fans" should be proud.
Ted's just got a little cat scratch fever. Nothing to worry about...
i am glad that a subhuman mongrel such as Ted Nugent has come to his senses and wants to stop calling others names.
I predict a tax audit in Ted's future
Yawn. He is an angry, ignorant, nasty man full of hate. When someone calls anyone a "subhuman mongrel" it's obvious who she or he really is and the lack of any kind of class he has. Add that to everything else this guy has said and why even consider him worth reporting on? I wouldn't want to hear anyone called that and this guy means every ugly thing he says. Anyone who remains associated with him condones his nastiness.
Ted may just over take Limbaugh as the head of the Republican Party.
Still waiting on Nugent to live up to his promise.
He swore that if Obama got re-elected, he'd either end up dead or in prison.
Ted Nugent has got to be a double agent working for the Democrats, driving people away from the Republican Party with his ridiculous comments no rational person would agree with. He's outing Republican candidates dumb enough to be associated with him. Thanks, Ted! Keep up the good work!
Insane guy supporting GOP.... He insulted GOP'ers... period...
Ted was relevant , in 1976.
Ya whatever Ted
Nugent for President!!!
Who cares what he says. I sure don't. He's worse today than his music was, and it wasn't even that good then.
I am certain Mr. Nugent can tell us all about being a subhuman mongrel.
Can you say draft dodging coward who has a little man complex.
Interesting non-apology, Ted. Maybe you should stick to playing your guitar.
He also claims that that noise he makes is music. Judge for yourselves.
Really? Anyone remember the vile things the entire democratic party said about President Bush?
Good. We accomplish nothing by inane sound-offs and there is simply too much to do.
I can fully understand Mr. Nugent's anger towards 0bama. When I see someone who hates America and tries his best to "fundamentally transform" (i.e., destroy) our great country, I feel the same anger as Mr. Nugent.
0bama = America's enemy, a shameless liar and the greatest phony in America's history
Nugent, JUST BE QUIET. It doesn't matter how you insult people, it matters that you insult people. STOP ALREADY.