February 21st, 2014
12:04 PM ET
8 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. bill39

    "I do apologize–not necessarily to the President..." Nugent is pathetic, and a back-handed so-called apology is not going to improve my opinion of him. I hope mostTexan voters do not buy this kind of prejudiced slur.

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

    term "subhuman mongrel" fits uncle tom Obama perfectly

    February 21, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. seanzurel

    Ted Nugent shoots endangered animals on private land for sport.
    why does anyone listen to him. He sucks as a musician and as a human. Its a free-for-all. yea, Teds an idiot.

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

    Ted has always been a low-life. His interview in the October, 1975 issue of High Times magazine says it all. In it, he detailed how he was able to evade the Vietnam draft, by crapping in his pants and not bathing for a month. To see him prancing around now in the public eye is pathetic. There's nobody lower than Ted. He's a not-so perfect pet for Republican politicians who pander to the worst sort of people.

    February 21, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Jax Beach Son

    Just a has been rocker from the seventies trying to get publicity as he most likely feels unimportant now! To bad he has to act so foolishly as he is just the type who doesn't seem stable enough to carry a firearm. He seems to have little if any self control!

    February 21, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. seanzurel

    Ted Nugent shoots endangered animals on private land for sport.
    why does anyone listen to him. He sucks as a musician and as a human. Its a free-for-all. yea, Teds an idiot....

    February 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    "and this administration has demonstrated an incredible hostility to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,"

    NOTHING has been done concerning the Second Amendment during this administration. Absolutely nothing. Republicans invent controversy.

    February 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. KeyLimePie

    Nugent is yet another reason most of educated America has abandoned the GOP.

    February 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. SL

    This is the best the tea party has to offer? Seriously? Has this mongrel ever been relevant?? He is, however, the embodiment of the teab@gger ethos: stupid, uneducated, loud, and hate-filled.

    February 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. ANNIER

    A has-been, desperately looking for attention, and the media is fool enough to give it to him.

    February 21, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Leah

    It's shameful that Perry, Cruz, and Abbott wouldn't condemn such a horrible, racist remark, and still wanted to campaign with him without an apology! The way this situation played out is a perfect example of why Republicans continue to have the reputation they do on race issues, and why every minority group votes against them. They are so tone deaf and insensitive when it comes to racism, no matter how blatant it is.

    February 21, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. greggteslovich

    What qualifications make Nugent someone to look up to and listen to (My opinion.):
    1. Graduated, somewhat, from high school and briefly attended a CC, some say for educational draft avoidance. Anyway, he shows the benefits minimal education through absurdness, narcissism & self-aggrandizement as evidenced in his legendary bizarre diatribes.
    2. Supposedly said he avoided the draft by feigning mental issues that would make him incompatible with military discipline. Later stated that service was for (paraphrase) – losers.
    3. Married twice with eight kids (shows real concern for over population and it's environment impact). Without telling anyone (until recently found out) gave one of his, not-so-legitimate (in the eyes of his Catholicism whose, incidentally, long history of human rights violations are legend) babies up for adoption.
    4. Age of thirty started skirt chasing a 17 year old. Then, to get around that sleaze, simply made it an "adoption".
    5. Your manhood (courage) is shown in using a lot of high tech hunting weaponry and special hunting comforts to kill for sport critters who have as their main defense, well, just being defenseless. So, Ted "The Coward" I spent part of my early life raised on a ranch (you were raised in Detroit) where we only killed cougar and coyote if their cattle kills became excessive. Your hunting is typical of those overcoming psychological inadequacies.
    6. Being a spokesman for a clique of billionaires who see their pursuit of wealth and avoidance of taxes (who use 100s of millions to influence politics) as a moral right is another example of the un-level playing field you need like to play on.

    February 21, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Davefl

    Who cares what Ted has to say. He's a no talent hack, and a sheep to boot.

    February 21, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. Felinetta

    Who is this nobody Ted Nugent? Never heard of him.

    February 21, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. sam

    Mongrel Nation,
    "haven't heard this word since we called each other mongrels as kids playing in the dirt. And it made me chuckle."
    You parents most likely curse in front of you and your siblings what those trailer court trash do, naturally it should not surprise you because you belong to those categories.

    February 21, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. MyOmy2

    Ted you are so confused, we know racizt conservative white men are having a hard time in this reality but take heart in knowing at your current age you might only have 8,000 more days left to breath air... son in the meantime why don't you loosen that sphincter ...sorta like you did to get out of the military. We think you've pretty much made a backend of yourself so far in life and it's too much for the grownups to handle anymore... even your fellow GOPers are fleeing faster than the military indoctrination officer did. I hope for your sake life is not Ironic in the sense you are re-incarnated as a cute rabbit and then someone steps on your head.

    February 21, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. guitar

    This from the guy who left a load in his pants for three days so he could get out of being drafted and serve his country. Blatant Coward! and yet the lowest dredges of society continue to raise him up as a role model. Pathetic!

    February 21, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. dsa

    Ted was right to apologize .. calling Oblowma a 'subhuman neanderthal' is an insult to subhuman neanderthals everywhere.

    February 21, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. massconn72

    The man is a pig. His only claim to fame is that he can play guitar? Big deal. Does that help the US with her problems. Or does he cause more with his big mouth?

    February 21, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Harold Read

    But Michelle is allowed to say "young people are knuckleheads,"

    Hypocracy at its finest.

    February 21, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Le Cadien

    His apology is too little, too late. He should apologize directly TO the President. The fact that he specifically excludes the President indicates his apology is no more than an attempt to ingratiate himself to his fellow Republicans and extricate them from the PR hole he put them in. I have only the lowest regard for Nugent. As an American, I am embarrassed that HE is an American. And this guy was never a rock 'n' roller: real rock'n'rollers aren't conservative racists.

    February 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Tracy

    ElvisvsJLX you wouldn't do jack and no you didn't dare anyone.

    February 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Ol' Yeller

    Ted Nugent shouldn't apologize (and didn't by the looks of it). He should be invited to attend and be the guest of honor of every republicant politician running for office this year. He should be the face of the republicant party as he so roundly represents who they are and what they stand for. Ted Nugent is an admitted pedophile. He talks candidly about how he would gain the trust of the parents of many of his victims, even went so far as to talk one set of parents into granting him legal guardianship of their daughter so he could have se x with her without alerting the authorities. He had se x with courtney love when she was a 12 y/o.
    And yes, as mentioned above, he is a draft dodger, having went on a diet of pepsi and then crapped himself so he would mentally and medically fail the tests to avoid Vietnam. Not because he was against the war, just because he was a coward (like limbaugh, cheney, bush, etc...).
    He now openly insults our sitting President (over and over and over again- this last time was just that; this last time) and only mr. paul (and mr. cruz to a smaller degree) speak out about him. Meanwhile, back a few years ago, each and every republicant politician, news anchor, and party member had a hand wringing, whining, crying conniption fit because the Dixie Chicks (gasp- probably caused some blood pressures to shoot up by the mere mention of their names) said something one time publically about their greatest president dubya bush. And everyone's head exploded...
    So please... by all means, let the 'family values party' have their celebrtiy spokeperson at each and every one of their campaign events. Heck, I'll donate money to help ensure that mr. nugent can attend each every campaign event for each and every republicant candiate in each and every election. Let him become the Face of the republicant party.
    At least he is honest in his racism and hatred and ignorance... better than I can say for most of them.

    February 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. jasoncdanforth

    Apologize... I don't think you know what that word means, Ted.

    February 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Gurnicus Blanstonius

    Abbott is using Nugent to gin up hate against immigrants and anyone who disagrees with the TeaParty. You should SEE the state ads being run on TV by the GOP candidates...all pushing and shoving to see who can appeal to the most base of Texan's human emotions. Fear over immigrants, fear over 2nd amendment....all to see who can gin up the most hate. And shamelessly doing it to get elected.

    February 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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