February 21st, 2014
12:04 PM ET
9 years ago

Nugent apologizes for using term 'subhuman mongrel'

Updated 1:03 p.m.

(CNN) - Conservative activist and rocker Ted Nugent apologized Friday for using the term "subhuman mongrel" to describe President Barack Obama.

"I do apologize–not necessarily to the President–but on behalf of much better men than myself," he said in an interview with conservative radio host Ben Ferguson, who's also a CNN political commentator.

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Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee this year, came under heavy criticism from Democrats this week for campaigning with Nugent, who's known for making outlandish comments about the President.

Watch Ted Nugent on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" Monday night starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Nugent said he apologizes "for using the streetfighter terminology of 'subhuman mongrel' instead of just using more understandable language, such as 'violator of his oath to the Constitution'."

In his apology, Nugent appeared to regret more the fact that his language has been tied to Republican politicians from his state, such as Abbott, Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

"I apologize for using the term," he said. "I will try to elevate my vernacular to the level of those great men that I'm learning from in the world of politics."

Later on in the interview–after some people on Twitter argued Nugent's comments weren't a real apology–Ferguson asked Nugent if he was directly apologizing to the President for the comments.

"Yes," Nugent replied.

While Perry and Cruz both said they found Nugent's original comment inappropriate, they didn't rule out campaigning with him.

Sen. Rand Paul, however, made headlines when he called on Nugent to apologize Thursday night.

"Ted Nugent's derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize," the Kentucky Republican tweeted.

Asked by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer Thursday in an interview "The Situation Room" about Nugent, Perry said "The idea that Ted Nugent has said something that's outrageous shouldn't surprise anybody."

Perry, who's considering a second bid for the Republican presidential nomination, added that Nugent "shouldn't have said something like that about the President of the United States."

And Cruz distanced himself with what Nugent said in an exclusive interview Wednesday with CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.

"Those sentiments there, of course, I don't agree with them. You've never heard me say such a thing and nor would I," Cruz said.

But the GOP senator, who's also entertaining a 2016 run, embraced Nugent's outspoken stance in support of the Second Amendment.

"I will note, there are reasons Ted Nugent - people listen to him, which is that he has been fighting passionately for Second Amendment rights. And - and this administration has demonstrated an incredible hostility to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," Cruz said.

Filed under: Greg Abbott • Rand Paul • Rick Perry • Ted Cruz
soundoff (673 Responses)
  1. Expat American

    Somewhere in Alaska.....

    Sarah Palin just had a Hate-gasm.

    February 21, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. icu

    I thought he (ted) should be dead or in jail by now.. I guess u cant hold people by their words....

    February 21, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. jesse

    You can't expect much from a 3rd rate rock guitarist who shot himself in the head with a gun when he was younger.

    February 21, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Tony

    Nugent said he apologized, but not necessarily to Obama. He does not necessarily mean it, so it does not necessarily count.

    February 21, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. Lee Crowell

    An apology from this nutcase rings hollow. You know dang well that he meant what he said.
    Ted Nugent is NOT a Texan anyway and he lowers our collective IQ. It's a shame that some people here agree with him.

    I never liked his "music" either.

    February 21, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. GetReal

    If that was an apology....then he should just stick to insults!

    February 21, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. stuman

    Like I always said give republicans enough rope and they hang themselves.

    February 21, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. 1alien1

    the good republican nugent makes bigoted remarks and you fellow repubs find it's O.K.? nugent and his kind is why the republican party are just a bunch of nasty and hatefull losers

    February 21, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. basedrum777

    I don't like that people get up in arms about things said by idiots but I think it goes to the disrespect that has been shown by the GOP related to this President. I don't think its all race related because I can genuinely see that they disagree on policies but to not keep it civil in terms of the conversation about those policies is still far too accepted by the right. I respect people like McCain (remember when he told that lady that Obama isn't a muslim?) for trying to pull the group from the fire back to the real world.

    February 21, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Diddelysquat

    Rick Perry says it was inappropriate for Ted Nugent to call the President a "subhuman mongrel". Does that mean he thinks it's wrong only because it was the President? Is it ever ok to refer to a mixed race individual as a "subhuman mongrel"?

    February 21, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. josh

    Amazing that Cruz could not just say that what Nugent was wrong was over the top..the reason is that they are all playing to the insane right wing Bircher reincarnates and actually pretty much agree with what Nugent said...funny that just a few years back Hannity was angry when someone called Bush a liar ( which he was ) how times have changed now that we have a black president

    February 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. cinemattla

    Why is this man getting any press at all? He hasn't been relevant for 30 years.

    February 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Bruce

    Didn't he just fold under the same pressure as he was blaming everybody else for? Doube talk, no different than the politicians he hates/represents.

    February 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. RETed

    Let's get serious. These remarks would not have even got him fired From MSNBC!

    February 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |

    Nugent is an idiot and a racist and should be ignored. Of course the conservatives use him as a surrogate to say the things they want to but can't without dealing with the backlash.

    February 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Steven Brooks

    Someone needs to do to Ted with an automatic weapon what he threatened to do to the President.

    February 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. bspurloc

    great men like Ted Cruz...
    Ted Cruz was seen celebrating AGAIN today his Countries victory in hockey...

    February 21, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. Liberal Lion

    Dems will be laughing in 2016 when Hillary is elected. The party of Hate will be "left" out again!!! Taste the Rainbow!!!

    February 21, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. hatenapa

    He's supposed to be dead or in jail by now, I hate people who don't keep their word.

    February 21, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. 2L

    So, he's apologizing, but not to the person the remark was directed towards – in other words, not really an apology at all.

    February 21, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. jonds

    This is the same Ted Nugent that went out of his way to flunk his medical exam after he was drafted. This man loves his country but just not enough to fight for it.

    February 21, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. richard in texas

    Funny how the draft dodger Nugent talks about the 2nd amendment. If you are afraid to go fight teddy what the hell do you need a gun for. ....oh I see for shooting those damn "other" people that live in our great US of A...and innocent animals. What a pathetic weasel

    February 21, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. Joe

    This old guy needs to either revive his pathetic music career or collect his old age pension checks instead of spreading his right-wing fascist agenda.

    February 21, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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