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. Jack Fischels

    Nugent and his buddies in the National Riflebuilders Association alone are responsible for the panic and the ensuing shortage of weapons and bullets and now overinflated prices on most guns unlike any action that the Federal Goverment or the President they love to critisize have caused. Name one gun control change at the federal level in the last two years? I used to love shooting and now the price of 22 long rifle shells that used to cost 8-10 bucks for 500 are almost unaffordable if I can find them at all. Thanks a lot Ted, Keep up the good work!!!

    February 21, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. JCK

    Ted it would not take much to find much better men than yourself. I put you just about a half step above Jane Fonda. You are nothing more than a draft dodging, almost a rocker who is way over the hill. You are a rabid second ammendment supporter who will shoot at anything that can't shoot back. This Vietnam Vet, 17 mos. in country Army Special Forces would be more than happy to say it to your face.

    February 21, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. bcares

    I'm starting to believe maybe we'd all be better off if Texas DID secede from the union! Perry, Cruz and Nugent . . . if they speak for the Republican party, we're doomed.

    February 21, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. ART

    Ted Nugent represents all that is wrong with the USA, He's nothing more than a rabid dog and a pathetic excuse for a human being. If I didn't know better I'd think he was suffering from cat scratch fever.

    February 21, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. flowersunshineandgymsocks

    After you call someone a subhuman mongrel there can be no apology as it is not a slip of the tongue it was a purposeful choice of words. Anyone who associates with Nugent has no business being in any public office.

    February 21, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. bigjim50010

    like cruz or perry will be the nominee anyways... let ted campaign for them, bachman, the pizza guy...none of those clowns have a chance of being the gop's candidate...they are the sideshow

    February 21, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. Really

    Ted Nugent is so irrelevant on this earth,,,,,,,,,you still have your guns just as I do you moron!

    February 21, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  8. Lewy

    I admire a man who speaks his mind.

    February 21, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. Dave - Phx

    Ted needs to stick to singing his old crappy dan tango wango jango rock songs.

    February 21, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. Tom Hartman

    His music was awful, and he is awful, so at least he is consistent.

    February 21, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. the horror of it all....

    Ted Nugent .. Cat Scratch Fever... guy slimes around the woods all day shooting animals while THE mongrel works his butt off trying to make global decisons that you may or may not disagree with– but OUT there in the real world there are wars, famine, collapsing economies. greedy investment bankers, terrorists, hunger, poverty , health care and a mulitude of huge and complicated problems– that ALL have to be solved immmediately.. now Teddy has a 3 chord hit- that's truly awesome... he married his cousin when she was 15 and that's awesome too ( freedom!)- yeah he's playing soldier out in the woods–yippee– but right or wrong the job of President ain't easy– every day is a struggle–ask Lincoln, FRD, Kennedy, Bush...you're always going to upset 1/2 the world.. you make choices and you live with them... and then the real mongrels come out and make stupid statements.... and we listen to them....man, we must be REALLY bored ...I just keep wondering what university The Nug graduated from and what his gpa was... I see a lot of history and poitical science in his speech...hmmmm, maybe not.... ain't Freedom grand ..

    February 21, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Tina

    Mr. Nugent comes from the same "batch" that all people of his likes come from, a cesspool of closely related genes. How dare he call someone of a mixed race "subhuman." People of mixed race are genetically superior to any "pure" blooded" people. Unfortunately for Mr. Nugent, he comes directly out of a cesspool of interrelated genes. Yuck! Disgusting!

    February 21, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Wyckette

    That is what is wrong with our country today. It's called being "uncivilized, "uncouth." If he can find other words, as he says he can, he should have used them to prove he isn't a shoot-from-the-hip uneducated man. He is out of his league and shame on the GOP candidates who are letting him say what they are thinking.

    Let's find a back-bone with integrity, common sense, and the ability to cross the aisle for consensus and elect it President, and fill every seat in the Senate and House with its clone.

    February 21, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Jimbo

    Like 99% of the Republicans, I had no idea there was any hidden meaning to Ted's use of that phrase. I'm offended that anyone would suggest otherwise. And who knows if Ted really knew the back story to it or not. Like Ted, I have an extreme distaste for this President. It's hard not to use inflammatory language when talking about Obama. I support Ted and do hope he does not harbor any racial hatred. I've never gotten that sense from him. He is a 2nd Amendment warrior and do believe he wants the best for America and all Americans. Should I find out otherwise, then my support will be lost.

    February 21, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Dan

    Boy thats almost as bad as Vice President Biden

    Look, John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs." –Joe Biden, Athens, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2008

    February 21, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. Annia

    I'm not a fan of Mr. Obama, but Mr. Nugent crossed the line. He should be ashame of himself!

    February 21, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. He who funds your EBT card

    Obama is a mongrel, and I won't apologize. Barry O owes middle class America an apology.

    February 21, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. jan

    Ted Nugent is a toad that the GOP should leave out in the dry, isolated desert where he belongs. Why would Abbot, Cruz, and Perry even associate with such a foul-mouth racist? They should watch the company they keep.

    February 21, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. ShawnDH

    Obama was (easily) reelected, so why isn't this piece of garbage dead or in prison like he promised?

    February 21, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. PuzzledInPeoria

    What a weaselly apology. This is further proof that just because you're famous, that doesn't mean you're intelligent.

    February 21, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Dan

    Biden for President, Ted Nugent for Vice President

    "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened." –Joe Biden, apparently unaware that FDR wasn't president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that only experimental TV sets were in use at that time, interview with Katie Couric, Sept. 22, 2008

    February 21, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. juanturnbeau

    He can't get attention with his subpar guitar playing, song writing, or vocal (gag) ability so call the president names. Bingo!! Ted makes the news!!

    February 21, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Peace

    The apology is not received even if am not Pres. Obama. This is not what is meant by apologising. You can't sit somewhere like what Nugent did, plan to say something and later decide OK I can say sorry and be forgiven. What this man said didn't happen by by accident. It was the message he wanted to deliver and it was received by those he meant for. How come that he were happy to deliver the message he wanted, and later coming up and say sorry? This is not the time to fool anyone Nugent!

    February 21, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. JSB

    "Streetfighter terminology"? Nugent is styling himself as a streetfighter now?

    February 21, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. rs

    "I do apologize–not necessarily to the President–but on behalf of much better men than myself,"
    'nuff said. I am glad this guy belongs to the GOP.

    February 21, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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