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. tet1953

    Why do these peoples' apologies always have to be non-apologies?

    February 21, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. IQ170

    Myself,I agree with Ted...

    February 21, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. 2nd Amendment

    I normally like listening to Ted, if you check previous interviews he normally backs his points with facts not just conjecture. That being said I cannot ever stand by the comments he made in that particular interview. Nothing undermines your argument more than language like that.

    And to Carol, if you are going to classify someone as "dummer than dirt" please spell dumber right, kind of undermines your point.

    February 21, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. erichx101x

    This is becoming the most ridiculous ritual. Say something that you know is going to be offensive to some, then strategically plan your apology. Fading rock stars and entertainers use this to recharge their careers.

    February 21, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. jamesussher2

    Nugent can quit with the "I'm-sorry-I-got-caught" act and tell me what I want to know: Does Ted Nugent believe that all humans are equal, relatives, and deserving of dignity and respect? (This is a rhetorical question, as the answer is obviously NO.) That is the issue for me.

    Barack Obama's ethnicity, character, or upbringing should not be an issue for ANYONE. While I disagree with him on many things, he is as decent a guy as anyone will ever find in the White House. He IS compassionate, intelligent, and honest. Because of the shameful accusations against this President I have cut all ties to so-called Republicans (more like traitors) who have perpetuated this fraud and travesty about his birth certificate, religion, and motivations. It is disgraceful.

    February 21, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    @mopery, I have some friends in the government.
    Speaking of drones, where do you live?

    February 21, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. yuri

    Jim, what a scholarly assessment of an imbecile, who shoots his mouth out and apologizes(?) later! I wholeheartedly concur w/ your comment and I especially admire your impeccable grammar and spellings. Keep it up and keep them coming.

    February 21, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Lee Downie

    I can't think of a good reason to listen to anything Nugent says.

    February 21, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Fish

    I consider the source, Nugent is a rocker from when we were juveniles but he hasn't matured. The Motor City Madman is still doing the Wango Z. Tango!!! Grow up Ted and please stop killing innocent animals for fun!!! My high school still plays Cat scratch fever at all football games but Nugent has gone from Cool to Fool since 1979!!!

    February 21, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Oscar

    Zted nugent is a drug using low IQ idiot. WHITE TRASH.

    February 21, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. ROBERT

    A white trash apology from a white trash low life. He's not sorry, he meant it, he's so irrelevant.

    February 21, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. TommyK

    Nuggent is everything that is ugly about America. When you disagree with someone you insult them, call them names, ridicule them, use racist terms, threaten them and what's worse many in the GOP are silent about it. Nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone but when all you have to fight back at is insults and name calling that would tell you everything you want to know about someone. Are you listening to this Duck Dynasty People?

    February 21, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. herrick9

    Poor Ted, that community college gig in Michigan which he btw did not finish didn't learn 'em much in areas of decorum or eloquence....Fellow brain-stormer for Perry and Abbott maybe?

    February 21, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Ssassy78

    As the mother of a 'mongrel' myself, I have to say it beats being, or looking like for that matter, poor white trash, hands down! And Nugent knows ALL about being and LOOKING LIKE PWT!!! LOL!!

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

    This man is only apologizing because the man he is campaigning for took a hit because of the remarks. Ted Nugent is one of many entertainers who belittle public officials to the delight of many people in both parties. He has been dissing President Obama for a long time. Part of this seems to be race related since he uses terms that have been used so many times by folks who dislike people of color.

    This is the same state which condemned the Dixie Chicks and they took a big hit across the
    country. NO such problem for Mr. Nugent even though his remarks are stronger and much more personal.

    The Attorney General of the State of Texas should have distanced himself from this man, In fact,, one wonders why he appeared with Mr. Nugent at all. Guitar playing singers are a dime a dozen and he is not one of the great talents in the USA,

    February 21, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. Zach

    Those who have to constantly talk bad about the opponent tend to be the ones lacking the skills to do any more than talk. Great men don't need to tell you how bad the other guy is to make themselves look better, they simply ARE better.

    February 21, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. nk

    He used the "M" word! You know, the one they use on TV and radio all the time!

    February 21, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. Cyndie

    When the Motorcity Madman decided to move to Texas, there weren't too many here in Michigan sorry to see him go. While I agree that he has the right to express his views and opinions, he has forgotten that everyone else has that same right. Anyone who doesn't agree with his misogynistic, everything-phobic, caveman era views is, in his often expressed opinion, somehow less than human. Oh yes, this is the guy we want in politics. Any politician regardless of political stance should distance himself from this guy as fast as possible. Yes, I said 'himself' since he'll never support a woman for anything

    February 21, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. ShawnDH

    People like Ted Nugent are one of the reasons I will never vote for a Republican.

    February 21, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. IQ170

    I like being stuck in 1776....people were smarter then when it came to what was right and what was wrong and were allowed to say what they thought....!

    February 21, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. SamT

    Be careful, Ted. It's unhealthy to talk bad about the Great Leader. You could end up: A) in a plane crash B) drowned in a 1 inch pool of water C) committing suicide with 2 bullets to your head. Those are the Big Three.

    February 21, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. OccamsShaver

    Ted Nugent was already a joke, but with this last terribly offensive, racially-charged insult, he has shown himself to be a true piece of excrement. Like Obama or not, but IMO it is unacceptable to use such degrading, Nazi terminology (that is the term that they used for Jews). His demise would certainly be no big loss to politics or music.

    February 21, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. FedUp2

    Is "Longtime Perry" his street fighter name?

    February 21, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. Robyn


    >> "I do apologize–not necessarily to the President–but on behalf of much better men than myself," - Ted Nugent

    All men are better than you, Mr. Nugent.


    February 21, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. kreamkorn

    I would be insulted if Ted ever said anything nice about me.

    February 21, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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