February 24th, 2014
10:05 PM ET
9 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. mike

    I guess when your'e a has been like nugent you have to do what you can to get back into the media lol next he'll have his own reality show like just like flava flav!!! But it will be on How to dodge the military and do drugs and still be sane lol Flava Ted!!! Yea Booooyyyy!!!!!

    February 25, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. k.leen

    I don't care if Ted Nugent calls people names, what offends me are is old music videos, were he wears obscene girly tight white pants with suspenders.

    February 25, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. joe

    Amazing! It never ceases to amaze me how much LIBERAL are for freedom of speech – that is, until you disagree with them! Ted – don't hold back! WE will use our intellect to decide whether you have a point or are full of something the comes out the back end of a cow...

    February 25, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. jamison

    Does anyone except the brainless TeaBaggers even pay attention to this racist mbecile?

    February 25, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. stewart

    we are all "Mongrel" by definition. every last one of has mixed blood in them. Ted is just racist and he can not help himself. the shame is the Texas pols who will not denounce him and part ways.

    February 25, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. murph

    Isn't he supposed to be.....in his own words..."dead or in prison" by now??

    February 25, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. get realist

    That's right GOP, keep shooting yourselves in the foot by letting frothing maniacs like these speak out on your behalf...

    February 25, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Gail me

    What a loser

    February 25, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Wake up: "I watched the special on Sundown Towns last night and cried almost incessantly through the entire thing. If you get a chance, check it out."

    Thanks for the heads up ... ! The Discovery Channel?

    February 25, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Dawn Kieballs

    Uh oh, somebody got called down to the principle's office. Looks like a little kid who's been ordered to make nice. It won't last, it's not in his nature. Sad Ted :(

    February 25, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. scmtns

    GOP office-holders are a bunch of spineless cowards.

    February 25, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Namepunababe808

    Ted Nugent is right. BarakObama is a subhuman mongra.

    February 25, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Jerry

    This really must have hit a nerve with you LIBSand DEMs... I'm enjoying all the ranting and raving about Nugent.. You poor fools pick up on anything to cry foul (fool0 when they's something BAD said about your Ruler. I won't call him a President because he's not one... He's a person bemt on destroying this country and you fools are too blind (stupid) to see it...
    when the fall comes don't try to blame it on us conservatives. you bought it you eat it...

    February 25, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. RF

    Why not just die or go to jail?

    February 25, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. get realist

    "Amazing! It never ceases to amaze me how much LIBERAL are for freedom of speech – that is, until you disagree with them! Ted – don't hold back! WE will use our intellect to decide whether you have a point or are full of something the comes out the back end of a cow..."

    Joe, your misunderstanding of the 1st Amendment shows us you don't use your intellect at ALL!

    February 25, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Bruno Cruz

    Mr. Nugent, just to clarify for you, President Obama's use of the the word "mongrel" was without malice. AND, he didn't put the word "subhuman" in front of it. See the difference now?

    February 25, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Estarianne

    Would he have called a white person a mongrel? No. Did he say it with the intent to shame or hurt? Yes. Racially biased speech meant to shame and hurt on the basis of race is a part of racism. When do racists ever admit to being racist, anyway? They all think that their hurtful stereotypes and prejudices are based on their actually being superior, so they claim it as truth rather than racism.

    February 25, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Estarianne

    Free speech means you get to say what you want. It doesn't mean people won't hate you for it.

    February 25, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. nina

    whatever you may think of Ted Nugent, he is 100% right about Obama, who has recently crowned himself king. He IS "a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured" America-hater...whose only goal is to destroy the country as we know it. The scary thing is that we have over 2 more years of this loser...God help us!

    February 25, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. Dead Bear

    He basically exposed the racist feelings of your average NRA member and Republican. None of this is a surprise to me. Every Republican I talk to is a total bigot and not at all shy about using the n-word. Plus, they are all cowards that are afraid of their own shadow. Thus their clinging for dear life to their guns. Most of them are too weak to actually win in a fist fight.

    February 25, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Charles

    Now if he can just stop the pedophillia maybe he can be looked at as human again.

    February 25, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. visitor

    I unfortunately channel surfed and stopped on part of the interview with this idiot. He mentioned something about his language being all, Detroit ish, or something like that.

    As someone who was born in Detroit, was quite involved in the rock scene, lived in Detroit as an adult (and yes am White), and lives in the Chicago area, (yeah I know where Palatine is), I have never ever heard anyone close to refer to someone else as a subhuman mongrel, and I know plenty of Bush haters also.

    Then he was making all these faces, and could not even close to say something rational and adult.

    What an ugly excuse for a human being. This boy-man does not speak for me or anyone I know, conservative, liberal or the majority of us who are in between.

    February 25, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. Michael

    The guy can say what he wants but he isn't anyone I choose to listen to. I don't think he has ever been revelant.

    February 25, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. Patrick Portland

    Here's a clue...everyting Ted said is accurate...I could add a few choice words.

    February 25, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. differentperspective

    amusing that only Conservative viewpoints are offensive in CNN's world. Your bias is showing.

    February 25, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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