(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.
Ted is right, Obama is a liar. What hasn't he lied about?
he is an idiot and unfortunately he represents or supports the Republicans. Hate and you will loose the battle. The hate that has been generated by the tea party and (some of ) the Republicans is just showing that they are not interested in political working together with the Democrats. It's a hate based on a racist mentality. "we hate Obama as a President" so we will obstruct anything he does and stands for. Remember the statement "we will do anything to make sure he will be a one term President? That was exactly what they are mad about – the American people have spoken! President Obama has been reelected and that is when the hate began to show....The party of NO....well, the majority will have the say from now on and it is NOT the Republican majority but a progressive liberal majority that will call the shots. So, either work with them in a civil manner or be left behind.
Ted Nugent should thanking CNN for the free publicity. Didn't he used to do something in the music industry?
If Ted Nugent looks in the mirror he could very well use those same epithets on himself.
Meh. Ted Nugent is barely relevant.
Why doesn't this "man" just go away?
Man, if he's upset about Obama lying about keeping one's doctor, imagine how he must've felt about Bush Jr's WMD in Iraq lies!
It is difficult not to react when Ted Nugent regurgitates his racist spewage all over the media. Calm down Teddy, go kill something with your bow and arrow, or better yet, why don't you just have hate concerts and put your cretinesque vitriolic thoughts into songs and all God's loving children can just sing along with you.
I thought he was going to stop calling people names? Look, Ted Nugent is nothing more than the British word for a cat, just like all the other trigger nuts that need to carry a piece in order to have enough courage to walk down the street like the rest of us. Stop on by, Ted. I'll show you how to be a real man.
"Mongrel" is straight out of the white supremacist handbook. So now he's a racist, a liar, an idiot and a back peddler."So I won't call him names anymore.", because you can't think of any that won't get you run out on a rail.
"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." Which you should have been doing in the first damn place but you can't because you're only looking at one party.
America lost 4 in Benghazi, but Nugent has nothing to say about the 5,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq, in a war based on imaginary W.M.D.s?
It's clear that Nugent's gun obsession and protecting the "gun" political party is the only thing his pea brain can process.
I saw that interview. Nugent skewered Erin Burnett. She tries so hard to suggest he is a racist, but Nugent wouldnt have it.
Really, subhuman mongrel has nothing to do with race, and to suggest it, this liberal media is really reaching.
Nice interview Ted. You kept your cool, put Erin in her place, and hilariously got under her skin.
Don't know why any listen to or cares about what Ted Nugent says. He's a part if the vitriolic culture he critizes.
I'd like to apologize for buying one of Nugent's albums back in the day and contributing to this clowns success.
He used the last two names of his profound vocabulary. When you're out of ammunition you have to stop. This guy has the intelligence of a Cypress knee yet some Republicans still associate with him... figures..
Is it possible to get this man on the ballot for 2016?
Ted that was kinda racist bro. If you can't engage in politics without name calling then you lack the proper intellectual capacity to facilitate the vernacular of the point you are trying to get across. I'm an independent by the way. I voted for McCain, and I did not vote in the last election because I was working.
Ted Nugent is a loser and his music sucks.
Good grief, CNN, quit giving this idiot press coverage. Let's get his craziness away from people that can be harmed by him.
Ted Nugent and Republicans are the CAUSE of the political discourse in America, not the president.
I find it interesting how people like Nugent take things out of context to try to justify their warped political agenda and then repeatedly fixate on it to make it sound like it's the end of everything. Kind of like Fox news trying to grasp at straws to justify their existence as a news source when they are really just a right wing political tool for corporate takeover of our political system under the guise of "anti big government – anti government regulations".
A mongrel is a racist comment against which race ? The mixed race ?
In 2002 I had a wonderful opportunity to spend 3 days goose hunting with mr nugent, the 1st thing he asked me was how I voted and who my local representives where and if I thought they where qualified, he asked this same line of questioning of each group there, one father and son group responded that they didn't vote, I later heard Ted tell the guides that those 2 where not to be on the same hunts as him, I was lucky enough to be alone on this hunt, so for 3 mornings ted sat with me for breakfast, I found the man to be increadably intelligent and very well spoken and not near as hyper as we always see on tv interviews - in short highly motivated on the individuals invorment in the political proscess. I would love to talk to him again all these years later......
Who cares... This guy has always been a worthless hack of a musician, why do we care what he says.
Ted Nugent is boring.