February 24th, 2014
10:05 PM ET
8 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. Durundal

    Its like watching an idiot cling to his little lie and try to use it everywhere because he basically does not want to admit he has nothing else. Criticize him on his economic policy – draw the diagrams and everything, but dont go into the populist ranting

    February 25, 2014 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  2. jim

    What a fool this guy is. It is because of people like him that the GOP is a dead party. The GOP really needs to find a way to disassociate from Nugent and others of similar ilk.

    February 25, 2014 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  3. chilipepper

    Well he is a wild rocker. He's a little high strung but he means well.

    February 25, 2014 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  4. Roger

    Only gun nuts care what this old washed up musician has to say. They actually view him as an intellectual.

    No, seriously! They do!

    February 25, 2014 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  5. humtake

    Sigh...haven't Republicans learned that only Democrats are allowed to call our President names? It was fine when they were doing it to Bush. That's just how Dems work. They live in a completely different reality where each of them is a King and anyone who inconveniences them or calls them names is the lowest form of life...but when they do it it is completely acceptable.

    February 25, 2014 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  6. Padric2

    Ted, it really doesn't matter what you do or don't say. You are by no means an 'opinion maker' for the public on the political landscape, rather you're just some eccentric has-been musician who can probably be best remembered for one song. if it weren't for you occasionally popping up in some silly article like this most people probably would have thought that you had died some time ago.

    February 25, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  7. liz

    To little to late Ted and the only ones doing any lying is you and the Teapublican/GOP go away your fifteen minutes are up.

    February 25, 2014 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  8. jnpa

    He can't stop calling people names. He is a Republican and that is what they do!

    February 25, 2014 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  9. martin

    If you would just stop shooting your mouth, that would be enough.

    February 25, 2014 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  10. from teapot dome to teabags, Grand Old Pob

    Ted Nugent is a fool and a liar; so what?

    As for him being being conservative, he conserves nothing but his lies and foolishness.
    In his dreams he is the wing of the right.

    This guy has used up his 15 minutes 10000x over.
    He is a irrelevant draft dodger who craps in his pants to avoid service.
    Another chicken hawk poster child for the GOP, the party of the irrelevant and nutjobs.

    February 25, 2014 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  11. Thomas

    Why is this guy getting any media exposure? If the media would ignore him, he would go away.

    I guess giving him media time garners profit..

    February 25, 2014 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  12. Rob

    Call it like it is Ted. DO NOT back down!!

    February 25, 2014 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  13. Slim Jim

    Love his Music, Hate his Politics!

    February 25, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  14. Paul

    The non-apology apology is fine. His words hang in the air. Nugent's core belief of the President is as he said and his 'new' approach only serves to suppress what he feels and what he is. Perry and Cruz did nothing to distance themselves and tried to be clever about it. Better to be like Rand Paul and call for an apology. I also don't hear a lot of the GOP going out of their way to call Nugent's tirade a lightly veiled racial slur. Like or don't like the President, his presence has brought out the ugliness that lurks just under society's surface in more people than we thought.

    February 25, 2014 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  15. Mark Morsch

    CNN is a legitimate news organization which should waste no further energy on Ted Nugent.

    February 25, 2014 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  16. bodie

    The only fight "street fighter" Ted Nugent has ever engaged in was the fight to avoid fighting-for his country.

    February 25, 2014 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  17. Handsome Dan

    It's as though someone sat down with Ted for about two minutes, reviewed the top-five anti-Obama talking points, and turned him loose.

    February 25, 2014 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  18. Jim in KC

    Who cares what this washed up rocker who married an underage girl dating Draft dodger. He sucks as does the so called music he has spewed for years. Kick rocks teddy.

    February 25, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  19. Hillary

    Oh, Nooge, 'street fighter rhetoric'? You dodged the draft because you were too chicken to fight for your country in Vietnam. You and Mick Jagger.

    February 25, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  20. Seattle Sue

    I will stop calling people names. Another lie from Ted Nugent. I wonder if he considers Jed Bush's children mongrels? Or he may think Ted Cruz is a mongrel. What a sorry excuse for a human, Ted Nugent.

    February 25, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  21. Craig in Pa.

    Just go away Ted...you are a bona fide idiot...straight talk to you bud.....A legend in your own mind!

    February 25, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  22. quinLee

    It's getting harder to distinguish the GOP from SNL. So many characters performing one big ongoing unfunny joke.

    February 25, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  23. jboh

    "for it's a land unknown to man, where fantasy is fact". Teddy wrote the TEA/GOP philosophy.

    February 25, 2014 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  24. Coroner

    You will never see a liberal man-up like that.

    February 25, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  25. Joe

    Ted Nugent is the man. I'd vote for him any day.

    February 25, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
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