(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.
Most of you have no clue what a racist or a bigot is, before you start calling individuals like Nugent one, you should look in the mirror and decide what you are.
How many conservative talking points can you fit into one statement? I guess he won the bingo game!
Who cares what he has to say? How relevant is he anyway? He could die tomorrow and my life still goes on.
His name-calling was his best attribute. Now he's worthless.
So Name Barry, you do. Let me tell you something I've been black for 48 years and I damn sure do know what racism looks like. People like you defending Nugent know exactly what he is. But that's how racism has been allowed to fester for so many years. People trying to pretend it isn't real. As for Ted, I could care less about his meaningless apology. He meant every single word he said and many more that we didn't hear him say. We all know mongrel is what mixed race dogs are called, and many of us know the Nazi party aka Confederate or whatever they wish to be called, consider people of color to be subhuman.
So Ted, take your apology and stick it where the sun don't shine.
"Most of you have no clue what a racist or a bigot is"
Someone who calls the President a "subhuman mongrel", is a racist.
I find it strange that Nugent should mistake President Obama for a sub-human mongrel when he see one every morning in the mirror when he is shaving. You'd think he'd know better
Trying so desperately to be relevant or just get his name in the media.
It is so pathetic.
I almost feel sorry for him.
Funny Ted, Dixie Chicks call Bush a Liar and you want them up on treason. You call Obama a Liar and worse, and you are a patriot?
Unfortunently, name calling is part of anglo saxon culture. They have an entire dictionary for derogatory names, insults, and phrases to hurl at minorities.
I love the Nugent apology, it was the typical conservative "I am the victim here" rant.
I bet that "nugent vermin" won't mind that we compare him to SA and Nazi propaganda mouth pieces.
Hey, what's the big deal, he's a "su.bHuman" for profit media opportunist. (fill in other less kind words for what he really is. Use your imagination. It's all just a game, isn't it?)
The frustration about how any administration goes about their work is certainly understandable. In fact, it's healthy that our politicians are kept in check this way. What's not useful is calling others names because you can think of strong enough words to use in your message. It just makes people look immature and it's difficult to take them seriously.....even if they have a great message or point of discussion.
STOP talking to this idiot. He is a drugged out dinosaur who should be ignored. If he didn't have a mike stuck in his face all the time he would have disappeared already.
Brian, I kind of take your point but, tell me, what is Anglo Saxon about America nowadays?
And to think in my teenage and young adult years I used to idolize this sad little man's music and way of life. How deluded I was....thanks soooo much Ted for ruining my memories of you, the memories of my late father taking me to your concerts. Racial bigots like you are to damned pathetic and narrow minded to be tolerated in polite society. If you are that disgusted with America and it's president (regardless of who it is), by all means buy a little island somewhere and buzz off....you'll not be missed by many anymore, I assure you.
Ted Nugent saying he isn't a racist is like Brad Pitt saying he isn't an actor....
Freedom Of Speech at it's finest.
Abbott needs to remember "You're known by the company you keep." Nugent sees nothing wrong with what he said and he is really not sorry he said it. However, he definitely is a sorry person. Abbott needs to distance himself.
I wish he would stop talking politics and start talk about reuniting Damn Yankees! Music lovers everywhere are crying out for a Damn Yankees reunion tour and album!!! HEEHEEHAW!!!
Nugent should stick to what he knows, staying stoned, playing with guns, and making loud screeching noises that some call music. Other than that he should just STFU and go back to being the irrelevant fool he's always been known to be.
wow CNN – pushing to get a full week out of this non-story??? amazing. Pity Nugent wasn't bright enough to understand just pointing out Obama is an unethical narcissistic liar who has spent his term in office rewarding his friends and punishing his enemies wasn't enough...
While I actually agree with many of Ted's viewpoints. There is absolutely no reason to use derogatory slurs as part of your political comments. What it does, is immediately degrade your opinion, which otherwise might be valid, to "TRASH" status.
Talk about an inhuman mongrel, well Ted, you have labeled YOURSELF perfectly. Ted Nugent, the Great Hunter, has "his people" chain game to the ground so he can shoot it from a helicopter with a high powered rifle after someone sites it in for him. He couldn't kill a mouse without a 100 man crew, spotters, trappers, guards a helicopter and high powered equipment.
Let's see Ted go one on one with a mouse, no weapons...all my money is on the mouse....
Ted Nugent had his place, and his time. That was a far away place, and a time long ago. Let him disappear please. Lend him an ear, and you lend him the ear of the nation. It's embarrassing for the country to have his voice out there. Please don't give him a voice beyond what he gives himself. He gives such meaning to the word "dirtbag".