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. Blank

    This from the Nuug, who is infamous for packing his shorts with peanut butter so he could escape the Draft during the Vietnam Comflict.

    February 25, 2014 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  2. Rita Clifton

    Erin why did you not ask about lie that Iraq leader was not involved in 9/11 attack and did not have weapons of mass destruction which lead to Bush`s invasion of Iraq which resulted to the deaths of over 5000 deaths of Americans and god only knows how many innocent Iraq citizens ?????? Why is death of Americans in Benghazi more important than the deaths of all killed in Bush`s and Company lie??

    February 25, 2014 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  3. Andrew Vrba

    Too late! Damage done! You'll never hold office.

    February 25, 2014 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  4. JusSayin

    Subhuman = Codeword for anyone not of Aryan Nordic heritage.

    Mongrel = Codeword for mixed ethnicity person.

    Godwin's Law need not apply. Sometimes a white supremacist is just another white supremacist.

    It's out there now Ted, You are toxic waste to any campaign.

    February 25, 2014 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  5. Chuck

    He must have smoked too much pot and now he believes everything fox news says...

    February 25, 2014 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. Kevin

    Angry old guys that self appoint themselves as the defenders of a bygone era make me chuckle.

    February 25, 2014 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  7. Bob

    Sorry, but "subhuman mongrel" is the EXACT phrase that the Nazi's used to describe Jews and did it specifically to dehumanize them to the German people. I find it the height of hypocrisy that Newt Gingrich tried to say that the "liberal media" was being hypocritical because it didn't call out Biden for inciting minorities when he said that if the GOP win the elections, they'll be back in chains. Yet, Nugent (and the GOP that use him and endorse him) are fulfilling that prediction by essentially saying "look at what happens when you let blacks into political office. They get all uppity."

    February 25, 2014 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  8. Big_D

    He promised he would be dead or in jail by now. I'm just tired of Ted. If the GOP wants this garbage he is all yours.

    February 25, 2014 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  9. Anonymous

    What right does he think he has to say these things....That version of America is over.....no more free speech....period

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

    The more idiots like Nugent are allowed to "represent" the GOP, the more independent votes the Republicans will lose.. Jindal was right..

    February 25, 2014 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  11. skip

    What right does he think he has to say or speak his mind, that was only possible in old America...this is Obama / Hillary world now baby...

    February 25, 2014 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  12. Abidur Rahman

    CNN, I beg you with all my heart, STOP GIVING airtime to Ted Nugent! There is no need for it. All he does is name call and offend people. He is a flat out bigot who does not offer ideas and just demonizes the other side. Anything Ted Nugent says is unnecessary, hateful, and offensive. Anything he says does not help people with their problems and does not change things. No matter what he says about Barack Obama, Obama is still the President, unemployment is still high, and the health care law is here to stay. This guy does not deserve anymore airtime. I could care less if he is on Fox News because that would be expected, but come on CNN, get him off your air.

    February 25, 2014 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  13. Wildernessyes

    Ted Nugent – The new Republican party spokesperson.

    That is funny.

    February 25, 2014 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  14. Dean

    Really, does anyone care what Ted Nugent has to say? A mediocre rocker at best, a critical thinker? No.

    February 25, 2014 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  15. Ted Nougat

    Ted Nugent said he would be dead or in jail if the President were re-elected. A coward and a liar.

    February 25, 2014 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  16. wuzzup

    Anybody who'd want Ted Nugent to "represent" them is breaking bad. He mistakes freedom of speech for freedom to insult. He's free to do that, yes, but don't say something then apologize for it the next day. That freedom to be an idiot, imo.

    February 25, 2014 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  17. KS

    Ted is a propaganda gold mine for Democrats. All he has to do is open his mouth and he drives another nail into the Republican political coffin. Anyone blamming President Obama for Benghazi is insane. One person ultimately responsible for the deaths of the Ambasador and others in Banghazi; The Ambasador. The Ambasador forced a trip to the most dangerous place in the world on the anniversary of 9/11 knowing full well the security situation and danger to himself and his employees. His actions were totally reckless and irresponsible. He let his ego get in the way of common sense (just like Ted). Hopefully Ted and all the rest of the right wing mongrels will gain some common sense as they age and take up harmless jobs and retirement hobbies as they fade away into obscurity.

    February 25, 2014 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  18. Mary Beth Gallagher

    CNN Exclusive? Seriously…?
    My son just walked into the living room and said, "Mom, why are you watching this?"

    GivingTed Nugent any amount of airtime is shameful and embarrassing.
    Embarrassing for you as a network, for Erin as a journalist and for me as a loyal viewer.
    it mirrors Oprah when she featured the "Skinheads" on her talkshow. (one of her few regrets)

    Please be the respectful news station we need you to be and leave the sensationalism to FOX and the National Enquirer.
    If your strategy was to have Erin call him out, she failed miserably.
    Looking downward, evidently attempting to back her colleagues (of whom she supposedly "respects greatly" ) was weak and unconvincing. She added insult to injury in closing by addressing him as "Sir" .after he "God-blessed her and her family". Ugh.
    C'mon CNN, get it together. You can do better than this. Either inform and inspire me or we're breaking up.

    February 25, 2014 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  19. EWAconserv

    Ted, name-calling is grade school. Intelligent people might listen to your point of view if you were rational. So, calm down, get your thoughts together, and discuss.

    February 25, 2014 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  20. GIUK

    Nugent is a pathetic has been. Only a pathetic never were would listen to him. So it's OK if Nugent keeps running his mouth.

    February 25, 2014 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  21. Jim

    If he stops talking altogether then I'll stop talking about how Ted "I pooped in my pants and lived in it for a week to get out of the draft" Nugent, really is a big fat hypocrite. Not a man worth respect of any kind!

    February 25, 2014 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  22. Brian

    Ted Nugent is irrelevant. He always has been.

    February 25, 2014 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  23. Sir Nikon

    It's clear that Nugent is an undereducated backwoods bigot. Of that there is little doubt. He represents, in a single human, what besets our country as a lack of civility, understanding and joint ownership of challenges that affect us. His simple-minded championing of firearms and far-right rhetoric totally negate any talent he may have shown in the past. It is as impossible to see his talent as it is to appreciate drawings by the leader of the Third Reich.

    February 25, 2014 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  24. Erick Holmes

    It's the people who make up the Tea Party. They can't stand to see a black in office. Pure and simple. Accept our racial diversity.

    February 25, 2014 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  25. Scott

    Why stop? They don't.

    February 25, 2014 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
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