February 24th, 2014
10:05 PM ET
2 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. brod

    CNN: STOP giving that clown airtime! He is a has-been entertainer currently on the far right wing fringe of society. Nothing he has to say is newsworthy or applicable to reality.

    February 25, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. rell87

    Stupid of him to use the liberal's favorite tactic of insults and bullying. He sounded like Bill Maher with his hateful rhetoric. No need to resort to such childish and petty behavior. Liberals are easy to discredit, just point out that they do nothing about any of the problems they preach about, like global warming.

    February 25, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. 2 Km N of G Zero

    This is Spinal Tap Part 2: The Ted Nugent Years.

    February 25, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  4. mercfan

    I would have some respect for Ted if he just disagreed with the policies of the current President. Sorry, but anytime you call some that's not exactly like you (regardless if it's skin color, religious beliefs, the way someone dresses, etc) a subhuman – that's racist.

    Unfortunately there aren’t more conservatives like Barbara Olson. She could debate the issues without malice or resort to name calling. You might not have agreed with everything she said, but you could respect her for the way she presented her point of view. Sadly, she was on the victims on flight 77 on 9/11.

    February 25, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. Chuck

    Ted Nugent? Who is Ted Nugent? Oh, he is a washed up rocker who took way too many drugs for years, and now is a conservative advocate, sort of like Mush Limbaugh, or Bill O'really. The new voice for the Republican party. How lucky they are. It is only a matter of time that the right wing conservative looneys realize that they are the "Minority" and will never be allowed to force their wishes on Freedom loving Americans.

    February 25, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Anna

    Why cnn is interested in opinion of such a lowest form of human being like this guy? His brain was burnt on drugs. He couldn't even take care of his own children. He gave them away. He has no moral values whatsoever. He represents the worst the USA has to offer to the world.
    When the rest of the world reads his comments they think that all Americans are stupid or ignorant as him.

    February 25, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Robert

    Hey Ted! As a musician I appreciate the "Show-Biz" aspect of your orations. There's no such thing as bad press. But when you say things like you said, you come off sounding like you're getting personal and racist. To criticize the President is one thing but you got personal. I guess I expected better choice of words, especially from a musician who like so many of us loved James Brown and Motown.

    February 25, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Michael

    The GOP is fast becoming the old white guy racist party because that's the only people they like! They hate blacks, latinos, gays, women ,poor heck who in hell would vote for them! It's sad

    February 25, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Wake up: "I hope I didn't offend any of my internet buddies with my rant. If I did, I sincerely apologize."

    Absolutely no need for apologizing for what you feel, Wake Up. I can't say I completely understand how you feel because I've never walked in your shoes, my friend; but I can say that I hope that I and others such as myself have lightened your burden (to even a small extent). I will also state that I do feel your pain, and it saddens me that our fellow citizens are filled with such hate that they gleefully make the most inane comments meant only to hurt.

    Nor will I tell you to ignore the comments intent on doing the most emotional damage. One can't really ignore all that hate day after day and still have a consistently positive outlook. I so appreciate your spirit as it comes forth in your comments!

    Keep your head up; your shoulders straight. Never allow their hate to rule who YOU are.

    February 25, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Steve Miller

    Now if we could get the Democrats to stop name-calling – (IE calling Christie a fat boy, etc...)

    February 25, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. are you kidding me

    Ted nunget is a known racist. He is more notorious than David duke.

    February 25, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. Davefl

    Ted has.....lame rant fever....duh dunt duh........lame rant fever....duh dunt duh...

    Go away Ted, your music is old news, and so are you.

    February 25, 2014 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Wake up People!

    I think what he says is important and it's important to know who campaigns with him. They may say they disagree with him but secretly he's saying what they wish they could say but can't.

    It reminds me of Mitt with Trump. He claimed he wasn't a birther but campaigned with one of the biggest ones.

    Birds of a feather flock together......

    February 25, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Jay

    Hearing lots of truth from whites on here. They aren't all racists.. But if you're a conservative white and you stand by this comment, meaning do everything but disagree than you're doing your race and country a disservice. There's no place for this. If you can't express yourself without insulting an individual than just shut up. It just takes away from anything valid that comes out of your mouth. I understand he's not much better than bush, no president has been over the last 40 years. Regan was a piece of work who perpetuated the gap between middle class & upper, bush 1 fought pointless wars, Clinton couldn't keep it in his pants, the last bush was an idiot, and Obama is a damn good politician/liar. What's fair is fair & I voted for him.

    February 25, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Robert Schoales

    Don't stop name calling. It just makes you look childish.

    February 25, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. larry

    Thanks for getting the truth out there Ted.
    I love it when Obamunists cringe at the truth.

    February 25, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Dan

    I usually do not mix politics and music. People have their own opinions. However, last weekend when I was running, a Nugent song came on, and I pushed the button to bypass it. His comments were that disgusting.

    February 25, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Keith

    The tea party folks and racists love this guy.

    February 25, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Peace

    Nugent is just saying. Who believes he will stop calling people names? I think him and Glenn Beck were born by same parents.

    February 25, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. The Truth Hurts

    I can't stand Obama, but that was over the line. That might even be more scurrilous slander than what was leveled by the left at Dubya, and that's saying something!

    February 25, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Jackson

    rell87

    Stupid of him to use the liberal's favorite tactic of insults and bullying. He sounded like Bill Maher with his hateful rhetoric. No need to resort to such childish and petty behavior. Liberals are easy to discredit, just point out that they do nothing about any of the problems they preach about, like global warming.

    ________________

    Conservatives are easy to discredit.

    1. Just look at the number of them that preach morality and family values, but are found to be having their own extramarital affairs.

    2. Look at the way they were all over Blagojevich but ignored Bob McDonnell.

    3. Look at how they preach about wanting less government involvement in their every days lives while trying to legislate what a woman can't do with her uterus.

    4. Look at the ways they cherry pick certain passages from the bible, but ignore all the rest of it.

    And on and on and on and on.....

    February 25, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. 3vilmonkey

    This washed-up old piece of garbage would be hilarious if he wasn't so offensive and pathetic. People like Nuge not only make me embarrassed for America, it makes me embarrassed for the human race. The fact that this slimeball get coverage by one of the worlds largest news organizations is almost as abhorrent as the man himself.

    February 25, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. dave

    this guy was a 2nd. rate rocker and is now a first order idiot. treat him like palin and he will begin to be considered legitimate. let him play Daniel Boone in MI. and walk away... ith apologies to mr Boone

    February 25, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    I suspect Nugent got what he wanted out of his comments. As did his fundraising buddies. Disgusting just how low politics takes certain individuals who pretend they are in politics for the greater good of America.

    February 25, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. spudnik56

    Typical conservative. Call someone names and then recant. Oh, I didn't really mean it...wow...pitiful...

    February 25, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24