February 24th, 2014
10:05 PM ET
9 years ago

Nugent insists 'subhuman mongrel' comments not racist, promises to stop 'calling people names'

(CNN) - Conservative activist and rocker Ted Nugent, whose comments referring to President Barack Obama as a "subhuman mongrel" sparked outrage across the political spectrum, insisted Monday that his remarks were not racist.

In an interview with CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront," Nugent said he would "stop calling people names," but he didn't back off the incendiary rhetoric that landed him in the political spotlight in recent weeks.

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"Instead of using terms like ‘subhuman mongrel,’ I'm going to get right to the meat of the matter where our president is a liar. He lies about you can keep your doctor period. Over and over again he lies about Benghazi. He's lying about the IRS," Nugent said.

"So I won't call him names anymore. I'm going to get right down to the nitty-gritty and identify the criminal behavior by the people abusing power in the United States government."

Last month, Nugent called the president a "subhuman mongrel" in an interview with Guns.com.

"I have obviously failed to galvanize and prod, if not shame, enough Americans to be ever-vigilant not to let a Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer gangster Barack Hussein Obama to weasel his way into the top office of authority in the United States of America."

He later apologized, though not necessarily to Obama.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee this year, came under heavy criticism from Democrats this week for campaigning with Nugent, and conservatives on the national political stage, such as Texans Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz, have distanced themselves from Nugent.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky struck a more stringent tone when he called on Nugent to apologize, which he did last week in a radio interview.

"They think I'll be more effective if I back off that Detroit street fighter rock 'n’ roll stage rhetoric," Nugent told Burnett. "I'm here to tell you I'm going to do that because I do respect people like Gov. Perry and the great Greg Abbott and Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, and because I do represent a lot of the same people that they do, believe it or not, I think I owe it to those great Americans to be more civil when I represent them."

After Nugent apologized, he quickly pivoted to what he sees as a bias in the media, attacking CNN and other news outlets in the "propaganda industry" for seizing on his original comments.

Before the interview, Nugent prodded Burnett to listen to comments Obama made on "The View," where he used the word mongrel. In the clip, Obama used the word to underscore the need to treat people of different races with respect.

"The interesting thing about the African-American experience in this country is we are sort of a mongrel people," Obama said in a 2010 interview on the ABC show. "I mean we're all kind of mixed up. That's actually true for white America as well, but we just know more about it. So I'm less interested in how we label ourselves and more interested in how we treat each other."

Nugent said the President is "creating class warfare intentionally to get Americans to draw this line in the sand where I've never seen such political discourse in all my life."

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (577 Responses)
  1. J. Shaw

    I think the cat scratched Nugent to many times, and he has the fever !!

    February 25, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. francescoles@yahoo.com

    What happened to Americans? I'm 60+ years od age. I really, really LOVE President Obama and First Lady Michelle AND Vice President Biden ans Second Lady Jill.. I am so sadden that so many parents missed the world opportunity to teach our child in each generation love instead of teaching them to NOT HATE! It is clear what was intended by so many, now we see the results of our parenting!

    February 25, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. OdinVonTogan

    He has used that sort of language, even the exact words, for decades.
    Why is there a problem now?
    Sticks and stones break bones, not words.
    Another reality you wholly failing Americans have forgotten.

    February 25, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Jason

    WOW! he's a white Al Sharpton.

    February 25, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Tim

    Why do media outlets even give Ted a platform? Why do his thoughts matter to anyone but Ted? Ted – enjoyed your music. But you are grasping for media attention.

    February 25, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Cee

    I honestly don't see anything wrong with Ted making such comments. He is an entertainer and in no way is he someone that I myself look up to so really who cares what he says? Who on this comment board goes running to the web when something big happens in the world to see what Teds take on it is? Yeah I didn't think so. Lets stop reporting on this it has no real effect on anything.

    February 25, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Pete

    Nugent kept sidestepping Erins questions last night on CNN I thought he took a page out of Christies,Walkers playbook...The guys a washed up old rocker that's still trying to be relevant ,which he's not unless you're a freakin gun nut with 1500 acres in Michigan to hunt wild game on..Go away Nugent ,I can still spell the crap on your pants ,the ones you wore to get out of serving in the military in Vietnam and bragged as well to many a republican draft dodger as well publicly...Maybe when you pass someone will write whats correct on your headstone as being a draftdodger and an ignorent republican both common with todays reps in both houses,both facts that can't be disputed...

    February 25, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Rudy NYC


    WOW! he's a white Al Sharpton.
    Sharpton does not resort to calling people foul names. Cite one instance of Sharpton calling someone a name. You can't for the simply reason that he doesn't call people names.

    February 25, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. sly

    Pretty simple, summarized by the conservative magazine Forbes:

    The 10 least educated states voted for Romney.
    The 10 most educated states voted for President Obama.

    Simply put: Dumb people vote for the TeaKlan party. So, Nugent is an excellant representative for those 9%.

    February 25, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. njrp

    Joe, here are some lyrics sung by your political hero.

    The Last verse from "Jailbait" –
    Honey you you you look so nice
    She's young she's tender
    Won't you please surrender
    She's so fine she's mine
    All the time, all mine mine
    It's all right baby
    It's quite all right I asked your mama
    Wait a minute officer
    Don't put those handcuffs on me
    Put them on her and I'll share her with you

    February 25, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. me

    What scares me to death is to think how low him and his ilk will go to get what they want. If he went 2 solid weeks, by his own admission, without bathing or changing his clothes while urinating and defecating in them to avoid the draft, what level would they stoop to get what they want politically?! If I were Erin Burnett I would be out sick for the next week just bathing and vomiting! Ugh

    February 25, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Gene

    That wasn't an apology! If any one is sub human it's Nugent, a filthy mouthed, racist bigot. If anyone ever doubted that the extreme right wingers attitude against this president wasn't based on racial hatred, just look at who they let represent them.

    February 25, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. massconn72

    The man should stick to what he knows. And just keep his foolish mouth shut!

    February 25, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. james

    We can only hope the GOP continues to be publicly associated with the likes of Ted Nugent, who represents the true beliefs of many on the right. The full exposure of that mentality, if we can call it that, will greatly aid the progressive movement. Please GOP and Ted Nugent, keep doing what you're doing.

    February 25, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. Paul

    Who is Ted Nuggent ? Will he even be mentioned in a footnote ?

    February 25, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Jean

    Nice – conservatives have to stop calling names – when will someone demand that racists Chris Matthews and Lawrence O'Donnell stop using vile names for anyone who disagrees with them? The double-standard within the democratic party and the liberal media, including CNN, is a joke.

    February 25, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Obama

    Sorry America, I know I suck. I am truly sorry I messed up your healthcare, and you have to pay more. If you are poor though, thank the middle class for taking care of you.

    February 25, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. Thomas

    Ted Nugget in Space i

    Ted Nugent , Donald Trump , Chuck" Norris , Meat Loaf , Kid Rock , "Pat" Boone , Rick Perry and Louie Gohmert .

    These are the leaders of America's future , Or maybe a season on the survivor show .

    Survival rehab

    February 25, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. yogi

    Gandhi was asked once "What do you think about civilization?", he answered "That is a great idea!". I bet the word civilization does not exist in Nugent's vocabulary, and it is rather telling that a GOP candidate wants this man on his campaign trail. Looking at all the candidates the GOP is producing there is only one conclusion: What a sad party.

    February 25, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. noprops

    Teddy, better go back to the bar and hammer down a few shots to quell whatever flashback you're having these days...
    not calling names (a little late, don't ya think?) is not going to change your goon rep established over the years as you embraced the racist gun-nut image. Irrelevant, even laughable.

    February 25, 2014 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. Jim

    Lord Loves a Workin man

    February 25, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. hatenapa

    You can sing "One Hit Wonder" to "Cat Scratch Fever".

    February 25, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Disgusted

    Ted Nugent is a pedophile. His salacious lust and self-admitted sexual affairs with underage girls during his "rock-roll" years is well known. Why Republicans continue to embrace a draft dodging pedophile who preyed on young girls is reprehensible. He is a disgusting human being that should be marginalized.

    February 25, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    So Chris Matthews and Lawrence ODonell are racist against their own race??? That sounds crazy.

    February 25, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. wakeup


    This is from the same guy that promised to leave the country if President Obama wast re-elected, well President Obama was re-elected and this liar is still here.

    Well You can't expect Obama to go anywhere (except maybe the golf course) if you elected him...
    So YES – the liar is still here

    February 25, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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