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. Russ

    Sarah Palin teach you to hunt Ted?

    February 25, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. About time

    It's about time the American people have someone that will tell them the truth about our pretender-in-chief!!
    HE has no clue about anything going on in our Great Nation or the world! Obama won't do anything about Benghazi, or his unaffordable healthcare abomination, among other things because he has no idea or intestinal fortitude to do so.

    I will always wonder who is pulling the strings on this clueless puppet.

    I, for one, am glad Ted Nugent has spoken up! Too bad not enough can or will hear him!

    February 25, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. bibleverse1

    Like any sane person listens to Ted Nugent. He says things to remain "famous" he is just an entertainer.

    February 25, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Debra

    His outlandish statements keep him relevant to a degree. One can only hope if he really SHUTS UP, he will fade away. Keeping my fingers crossed!

    February 25, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    The saddest part of racism is it changes people. I used to like everyone, but since 2008 I look at people differently. I wonder if they're telling the truth or just what I want to hear. I have friends of all races even Arabic, but I can't stop myself from wondering how do my white associates REALLY feel? I also know it's not all whites, but it's sad that people like Ted make others look bad. It's so hard to put in words, so others can understand.

    I hope I didn't offend any of my internet buddies with my rant. If I did, I sincerely apologize.

    February 25, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Jon

    I'm conservative – but also fail to see how anyone would NOT consider the comment 'subhuman mongrel' as racist... – and for those claiming "it's just bigotry" – buy a damn dictionary. Ted Nugent however does not speak for conservatism any more than Sean Penn is qualified to speak on liberalism. I'll never understand how we as a society continue to give these crackhead self-righteous pampered 'celebs' the credibility they so strongly believe they deserve.

    February 25, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Anon

    He's just following the tried and true formula, mastered by most two year olds, the more outrageous you act the more attention you get.

    February 25, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Dev

    Sadly GOP harbors racists and it is one of the party in the two party system. I am left with little or no choice as I just can't support current GOP.

    February 25, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. pkrbkr

    this type of comment is a disgrace.....not to our President, but to Nugent! Who cares what he says? Ted, we thought you said you'd die if Obama was reelected......get over it! The people have spoken and you're irrelevant except for the few racist, gun lover, biased, uneducated people in this country.

    February 25, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. G. Rose

    Long live Ted Nugent!!

    February 25, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. samb

    Ted should be on tv constantly. He is a great example of the vapid anarchy coming from the gop/teabirchers. Like their new tax plan, they serve only the wealthy and cut down anyone/anything in their path to the new Gilded Age. Let Ted talk, he exposes the stupidity that the right is pushing on America. Trying to hollow out the safety net, push more of the nation's wealth to the 1%, promoting phony scandals, rolling back the clock on social issues, denying proper health care for working poor people, suppressing voting for minorities and youth and rendering congress useless to invalidate the results of the last election shows their disdain for the American people.

    February 25, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. TheThinker

    Mr Nugent's ridiculous namecalling is destructive to our country, and the particular name he chose makes himself come across as immature and unsophisticated.

    ... and to all those people who sported "A village in Texas is missing its idiot" bumper stickers, you are identical to Mr Nugent.

    February 25, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Robert

    Ted, that's what too many drugs will do to your critical thinking skills. You're just one more overage guitarist who has his prejudices. Perhaps the Bard of Avon said it best: "... a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Since he's long past his shelf life, it's time to give Ted the hook.....

    February 25, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. cms123

    Why on Earth do people care what an old out-dated celeb has to say? People need to read and research info not get their political views from old drugged up washouts....this is why we have the problems in the white house congress and senate now....because of idiots caring what celebs and famous people say. Yeah let some doped out guy tell you what to think and who to vote for. That just makes a ton of sense right? This is how people like wrestlers and actors get voted in....pure stupidity on voters part. So instead of hillbilly Nug let's all listen to Willy Nelson and Snoop Dog instead...might as well ......HAHAHAHAHA

    February 25, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    "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. 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."
    -----------------------------
    Is this man really this far out of touch? He claims to stop calling people names, Pres. Obama in particular. Then he calls him a liar. I guess "calling people hames" must mean anything rated "PG-13" or higher. I guess "G" rated name calling isn't really name calling. It's getting "down to the nitty gritty."

    February 25, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. genfan

    Since when has Ted been involved in street fighting? And can someone explain to him the difference between 'discourse" and "discord"....

    February 25, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Wake up People!

    Did anyone else notice how he managed to hit on every single Fox talking point over the past year??

    Maybe he's auditioning for a job.....

    February 25, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Ricky32224

    He's missing the limelight. But why does the news media cover his rants? Clearly it's not because anyone respects his opinion or that his position in society warrants a second thought. It is simply because he is a nutcase and the media wants to make fun of him. That's a bit cruel–like taunting someone with a deformity. Should just ignore him and cover real news.

    February 25, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Larry B.

    Nugent is a major has been and is looking for attention. Unfortunately, he has clearly shown the world what an ignorant racist he truly is.

    February 25, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Davefl

    The only people more stupid than Ted Nugent are people who listen to what Ted Nugent has to say about politics. I get it, Ted hasn't released any relevant music since the early 80s, he has a desire to keep his name out there. This is not the way Ted, you sound like a nutjob.

    February 25, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Ted For Prez

    February 25, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. Darren

    Hey Ted, here a name for ya,,," Has Been."

    February 25, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Joe

    Nugent is a buffoon. How sleazy can you be to be so rich and have a carefree life like him and to oppose affordable healthcare for honest hard working Americans. This man lives a life of absolute leisure running around in the woods like a child and playing hunter while the rest of us have to actually work our lives away. Count your blessings Nugent – things could be a lot worst, you could have gone undiscovered and had to give up your dream to get a crummy job – then you’d be happy about affordable healthcare – which is awesome if you live in a state that is decent and cooperated with it – if you live in a red state and it isn’t going so well then you got what you voted for.

    February 25, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Crashman

    Why do we care about the insane rantings of a has-been?

    February 25, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Joe

    affordable healthcare is awesome if you live in a state that is decent and cooperated with it – if you live in a red state and it isn’t going so well then you got what you voted for.

    February 25, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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