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. Wall Wolf

    Ted Nugent is trailer trash. Why not stop along side the road and stop any low life and ask what he has to say about Obama and then do a big writeup about it. The press is bringing this country down faster than the GOP politicians who are being lead around by the nose by Ted Nugent.

    February 21, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. nitrous

    Ted should take sage advice from the late great Frank Zappa – "Shut up & play yer guitar."

    February 21, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. StafCoyote

    This was no apology, and nobody should accept it as such.

    February 21, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. sqeptiq

    Anyone who puts ted on a stage to rant has shown his own lack of fitness for any position of responsibility.

    February 21, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. wuzzup

    Hey, I don't have a problem with Ted voicing his opinion of our President provided he acknowledges, while standing on that soapbox of his, that if he were not an American citizen and lived else where, he could be executed, imprisoned or tortured for his insolence.

    February 21, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. MiBigAl

    I'm so glad that the GOP is embrasing the Nugg, a few more like him and they can kiss "16" goodbye, as if they haven't already. What a clown and a buffoon, we kicked him out of Michigan.

    February 21, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    -Common Sense

    ah liberal drivel on here is amazing...Why not crush Biden for saying republicans want to take blacks to slavery? I find that speech offensive, but I guess it gets overlooked because he is a liberal democrat defended at a moments notice by CNN and MSNBC!
    So, a man who has not got the cajones to apologize, but instead issues a half-a$$ed apology directed at the people who he has embarrassed, and not the target of his vitriol, is NOT someone worthy of our contempt? Please. This is symptomatic of the type of person Nugent is and the people who support him: no responsibility, no obligations to anyone else, but plenty of whining about a mild remark that does not even BEGIN to approach the level of nastiness Nugent directs towards his opponants on a regular basis. Just own up to the fact that he screwed up. Rand Paul recognized it for what it was, and he's elevated himself because of that. Why does the Right tolerate this kind of talk? Is it solely because Nugent has money and a radio show?

    February 21, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. dapper1

    It sure says a lot about Republican politicians in Texas wanting to campaign with Nugent. Nugent is a vile, reprehensible man who can't even make a decent apology to Obama. What's truly scary is that this neanderthal owns guns.

    February 21, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Phil Thomas

    Talk about a misleading headline, A. He didn't apologize to the person he called a name until he realized he stepped in it again B. who cares what this nut case has to say

    February 21, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Jackie Treehorn

    I'm really not sure what everybody is so mad about. He gave a non-apology because he doesn't feel that he did anything wrong. AND HE DIDN'T. People are just too sensitive to EVERYTHING. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

    February 21, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Marc Florida

    Nugent needs a keeper who can control his big, stupid, mouth. Whatever mia culpas come from him are insincere and meaningless. He owes the President an apology!

    February 21, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Biff

    I don't say this often, but this world would be a much better place if today, Ted Nugent dropped of a heart attack.

    February 21, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. Monte

    Ted Nugent is not and never will be relevant. He is a backwoods moron, even though that is an insult to morons everywhere.

    February 21, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. kevin


    Those comments would let Ted fit in nicely at 1930's Bavarian beer halls. Have any jack boots?

    And so would IRS targeting, putting monitors in press offices, bypassing Congress, killing Americans without due process, etc. But then you support that mongrel.

    February 21, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Kenneth Newman

    Texas sure does produce its share of white trash. His comments show that having a lot of money and fame equals stupidity.

    February 21, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Al-NY,NY


    Nugent for Governor of Texas, win hands down there would be no contest they love him in Texas

    all the more reason to separate that third world state from the US and let them form their own banana republic. We'll build a moat around them with a fence to keep them out

    February 21, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. EarlGrayHot

    Nugent is such a racist idiot. And an ignorant fool. He has no palce in polite society. He's more like a rabid dog than a human being and he will never recant his outageous and prejudiced remarks.

    February 21, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. George Gray

    In much of the Western world, Nugent would be indicted for saying such vile slanders publicly. Many Western countries now have laws against publicly making racist remarks— and "subhuman mongrel" is about the worst thing you can call someone, especially a black person or Jewish person. That was the language the Nazis used toward the Jews and other minorities.

    February 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Andrew Friet

    What difference does it make. During the Bush administration, people made fun of him all the time and they even did parody animation shows about him and nobody said a word then. Why is this even an issue? Oh, that's right, if anybody says anything about the almighty Obama, they are instantly labeled as "RACIST"

    February 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. kevin


    I dared nugent to try to get into my house, and how he would die inside the door. I have no fear of killing him.

    Why would Ted want to get in your house. Im sure his is much nicer.

    February 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Vicky

    This guy would sell his soul to stay relevant. Ted Nugent is a pig. Why give him any press? This just keeps this dirtbag in the news when his voice means nothing to the majority of us.

    February 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. Mary

    You can't whistle back the wind. Once you say something like this the damage has been done and damage continues to be done by the repercussions of this ignorant hate speech.

    February 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Ted's dead, baby

    But to be fair here, folks, no one ever accused the Nuge of being particularly bright, or even rational. We've all known for a good long time that there's something not right with this guy.

    February 21, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    LessDemLessRepub wrote at February 21, 2014 02:10 pm

    The fact that people try to tie comments of a retired rock-n-roller to a poltician is laughable. If you want to find vile hate filled speech from the left, you can go directly to the politicians themselves.
    No one tried to tie Nugent's comments to a politician. The politician tied the knot himself when he took Nugent out on his campaign trail as a hand-picked surrogate. It's my understanding that surrogates speak *for* the candidate. Surrogates speak for their candidates and Nugent has spoken.

    February 21, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. Vicky

    This guy would sell his soul to stay relevant. Why give him any press? This just keeps this dirtbag in the news when his voice means nothing to the majority of us.

    February 21, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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