(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.
Who would feel proud to be led by someone who refrained from washing and wore his own feces for days if not weeks in order to get out of serving our country in the military? Americans who listen to this guy need their heads examined.
Nugent is egomaniac if he thinks he represents anyone. He's a worthless apologist for the most crass element of our society at best.
Yeah? And how about writing songs about chasing 13 year-old girls, Ted? That's acceptable in your white trash world, huh?
Where was Nugent when his country needed him ? Cheney and Bush told lies to get us into war and not a peep .
I dont think it was racist, that's not the issue. The issue is I could never identify with a movement, right OR left, that labels their opponent a 'subhuman mongrel'. No matter if it's Obama or Bush, the anger and bitterness behind that statement is mindblowing, and no thanks, I want no part of that.
Simply, Ted you are Right .
This racist bigoted Ted Nugent guy is trying to be relevant by being ignorantly outrageous. His days are over he should go ahead and overdose as expected
Nugent has gone way over his 15 minutes. Maybe he needs to run for office...and see how many "distance themselves" from him.
I was awake all last night worrying about what Ted Nugent would say next.
The interesting thing about the human experience...is that we all tend to experience the same things differently. From this, we remember a different feeling and story from it. To some, it may have been great, to others, fairly dimwitted. In the end, we all learn a lesson and move on. Some tend to linger though....... And this is where CNN comes in :)
It is sad and painful to listen to Ted Nugent's hateful comments. If CNN is responding to pressure from Mr. Nugent in terminating Piers Morgan, that is beyond disappointment. Mr. Nugent sounds like those who followed Hitler when they used similar words when defining my people as subhuman.
Ted Nugent? The guy that weaseled out of going to Viet Nam so some other poor guy had to go in his place? That great American? If the GOP is trying to lose, this is the guy they need to keep pushing to the front.
Ted Nugent. He may voice his opinion in his own way freedom of speech Don't make mountains out of mole hills. We understand he's angry and maybe we all need to grow up. Not all people beat around the bush like legislators do. I think Mr. Nugent brings many good points to the public.
Ted the Toad can do nothing with his with his mouth but help Democrats. Keep it up son.
I totally agree with pretty much everything Ted says. I absolutely do not believe anything Obama says. Liar is an understatement!
That my friends is what you call baiting a pack of hungry Rabid Wolves ! They lost !
Ted Nugent is a foul, hateful racist and a sorry excuse for a human being . I've only heard of a few racist musicians that spout ugly rhetoric under the guise of making music . He apparently is one. Why is CNN giving him all this publicity? He had done nothing for this country or mankind. Hitler would appreciate him, I don't.
Oh, well, NOW he makes sense ! Yeah, right.
You just don't get it. Period.
Puleeezzzze!!! stick a guitar in this guys hand and send him home!
Yeah, I also greet my buddies with the term "subhuman mongrel". Guys, .. it just may be that unique Valentine she's looking for in 2015/s
Wow. He destroyed her. Yes he has a vulgar vocabulary but intellectually she didn't stand a chance. Were those her pom poms on her desk.
Spot On Ted... He is exactly what you called him. Don't apologize. One day hope to see obama in Hague to stand trial for his crimes against humanity.
I truly believe that most of the Obama haters are white men who still think that no one but the white man should rule this country, not even a woman God forbid, And most of them believe that there should be no restrictions on guns, even the automatic weapons, which Piers Morgan was so trying to get Americans to grasp,. because of all the senseless killings by mostly white young men, and why the NRA has too much power here, and too many young lives are taken so senselessly.. I am a white American, and I see so much disgrace, Thanks Ted Nugent, you just proved my point.
This wannabe (Nugent) is to the US what what other extremists or wannabe extremists are to their respective countries an embarrassment.