February 24th, 2014
10:05 PM ET
5 months ago

Nugent insists 'subhuman mongrel' comments not racist, promises to stop 'calling people names'

(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.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (577 Responses)
  1. David Ricci

    Why is the media focusing on Ted Newgent ? Why don't they equally focus on Democrats for similarly offensive remarks about their political opposition. How come as long as a Democrat gets to say what he or she wants their fine, disagree with them and your an extremest or racist ? I would love to understand how this works.

    February 25, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. disgusted

    the wonderful thing about our country is that we have the freedom to say whatever we want about our president and government as long as we aren't making threats. mr. nugent can say what he pleases. i, on the other hand, have the freedom to ignore his ignorance and say that i think he's an idiot. that's my opinion, which counts just about as much as his does.

    February 25, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  3. Andrew

    Stop giving him publicity in the first place. Same with Palin, Limbaugh, and the rest of them.

    February 25, 2014 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  4. Daniel Kolb

    Your right Ted, it's not racist, it's misogynist, denigrating anyone it is applied to. I think it was invoked or something similar to it was invoked many times by a group in Germany in the 30's and 40's to describe Jews, gypsies, communists, anyone who opposed, real or imagined to the Reich.

    February 25, 2014 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  5. TomNPitt

    Hard to believe he once worked with the "Amboy Dukes". His phobia's are very obvious. He can not comment on any classes of people, because he is class-less. He is without any class. He is without any connections. He thinks the conservatives like him; but only because he says things the lower levels of the Republican's also think. He will not be invited to any of the post-electorate parties, because no one really wants to seen standing next to his slobbering, un-bathed, unclean, sloppy hair, smelly clothes carcass. This ain't the Buffalo Bill Wild west Show. Dressing and acting like a cowboy went out of style in the 80's.

    February 25, 2014 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  6. rs

    Dear Ted-

    Call a loved family member a "subhuman mongrel" and see how they interpret it. Thanks for playing- you're no longer relevant.

    February 25, 2014 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  7. KrJ9

    Look up what Ted did to get out of the draft. If you still like this guy after reading it, you should be ashamed. I lost all respect for him during the Vietnam war.

    February 25, 2014 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  8. Bewildered by the fact that this guy makes the news

    People like Nugent have every right to spout off and say horrid things. The people he represents can either embrace what he says, or pretend not to approve as they see fit. Everyone else sees it as one more example of how there are too many on the right who are just plain hateful, mean spirited, bigoted and in denial of reality.

    February 25, 2014 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  9. Pat S

    So when the Dixie Chicks said they were ashamed that president Bush was from Texas, where was the second ammendment activistslike Ted Nuggent to defend that right. No,he was out there burning their albums. They never even called the president any names just said they were ashamed to be part of the same state. So does the second amendment stated it is only applicable to people from the right or is it now for everybody. A bit of a double standard there I think

    February 25, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  10. brian

    Someone just graduated from first to second grade.

    February 25, 2014 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  11. DocHollywood

    Why is this half-brained human still commanding news space? Here's a guy who sang about wanting to bed a 13 year old girl when he was younger telling others how immoral they are, a guy who refused to serve in the military telling others how unpatriotic they are. Anyone who would take advice from this two bit loser is worse off than he is. There's a ton of other people to listen to, quit letting him take the space up.

    February 25, 2014 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  12. ontheotherhand1

    The good news is that Ted is playing concerts of all his hits!
    The better news is that it's over in less than 5 minutes!

    February 25, 2014 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  13. weezer

    I think Nugent is an excellent spokesman for the Republican Party. He honestly and thoughtfully speaks their truth.

    February 25, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  14. NameEducated

    Ted, an Imbecile at its best. I wouldn't expect anything less!!

    February 25, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  15. rs

    I have to wonder if Rince Priebus has an ulcer and just how it's doing at the moment. Mr. Nugent as the GOP's "celebrity endorsement" in Texas has pretty successfully defined the GOP as the party of racial hatred. Mr. Nugent (and those who seek this demented man's support) do nothing to make the GOP more attractive to minorities, or people of color- in fact having him around the GOP ensures they have lost those votes.
    The GOP needs to expand its base, not redefine it with brown-shirt hyperbole.

    February 25, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  16. ricardo1968

    I get where Nugent is coming from, but he has been rich since he was very young, he does not understand the obstacles people face when they start out poor and uneducated. The world where everyone must be forced to 'their utmost' in order to lift the countries standard of living is impossible due to globalization and automation. As labor loses its value, capitalism loses it's former capacity to spread the wealth. The system will collapse when the only way to make an income is through owning things and not from working.

    February 25, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  17. Bkldy2004

    Yeah right he's concerned about Benghazi. Too bad he wasn't concerned about the 50+ American's that died in the 13 embassy attacks during George. W's administration. He's a racist and doesn't even have the balls to admit it

    February 25, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  18. Kathy Russell

    Better yet, the news could stop reporting what this nobody says. There. Problem solved.

    February 25, 2014 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  19. sneer

    ted nugent is your weird cousin that cant even handle eating at the little kids table.

    February 25, 2014 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  20. Nuggie

    CNN hasn't quit trying to pay attention to Ted....Why? – because they like to pain ALL conservatives as being exactly like him.

    February 25, 2014 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  21. miscreantsall

    What a piece of work this guy is!

    Sad thing is, he really does represent the heart and soul of many many people in this country. As "un-edited" as he appears to be (because he has the platform of his "celebrity"), make no mistake, his expressions pale next to the sentiments of the many that he speaks for.

    With the increase of more people like him and his micro selfish thinking, we and the world are truly doomed!

    Good bye to the "Aquarian Age", because we are stuck in the "Piscean Age" forever, until we perish!

    February 25, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. ElvisvsJLX

    Has been (was he ever anything?) nugent is just coming off looking like a true idiot. He's irrelevent and no one will miss him when he's dead. Which, if he ever tries to get into my house, he will be.

    February 25, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  23. ErnieS

    Noooooooooo!!! Teddy Boy, you and your GOP racists are the best thing to happen to the Democrats. The GOP will never take back the White House again, thanks to you guys! keep it up!

    February 25, 2014 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  24. Steve

    What makes anyone think he has any credibility in the first place? Druggy rock star about sums him up.

    February 25, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  25. Leo

    Why is this fool being given so much attention? He's a nutcase who lives in an altered reality. I don't have 1 cent worth on interest in anything he has to say.

    February 25, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
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