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. zappy

    he's just an old rock star becoming Alzheimerized and probably deaf... (he had one of the most powerful sound system i knew when presenting his show in Europe decades ago. )

    February 25, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Cat

    Oh, go on Ted call people names. It shows just how stupid you are. How radical you are. How racist you are. You need to campaign for some more Republicans.

    February 25, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Ian's Rushtache

    Oh, Nooge, 'street fighter rhetoric'? You dodged the draft because you were too chicken to fight for your country in Vietnam. You and Mick Jagger.

    February 25, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |

    Hmmm, Mick Jagger you say? Didn't realize Brits were eligible for draft into US service.

    February 25, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. zappy

    and could you imagine a smart , intelligent and a sensible interview in a Guns site ???

    February 25, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. MariaErics

    Interesting that Nugent didn't really have much to say when Bush Jr. "LIED" about WMD in Iraq. I think he needs to do more than stop calling people names. He should just stop talking all together.

    February 25, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |

    They hurt my feelings ted...please stop.....its hurts.

    February 25, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. yogi

    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.
    Words might not break bones, but they are very powerful. Words can do incredible damage, and when used with love they are uplifting music to one's soul.

    February 25, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. sly

    Thank you President Obama – not just for righting America, but for turning the GOP into the laughing stock of America.

    Republican support, thanks to pedophile draft dodgers like this party spokesman, has dropped below 10%.

    President Clinton will continue America's march to a progressive future, from 2016-2024. Good Times, America. Congratulations.

    February 25, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. cal usa

    One low morally corrupt racist in a population of 300M+ should not be a source of concern. What should really disturb us is the number of Americans who applaud his garbage, not to mention the Republican politicians who either embrace him or are afraid to denounce him. No doubt Lee Harvey Oswald and Charlie Manson supported the 2nd Amendment, but does that make them somehow socially acceptable?

    February 25, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. klpzdm

    The 4F draft dodger who got 3 deferments from Vietnam is a true American patriot.

    February 25, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Mark

    Ted represents a party that loves to have the Bible and say they are the party of morality and family values. That is no longer the case and ted is the best example of that. but he also represents and even bigger problem and that of the wide spread lack diplomacy, consideration, & respect by people of both parties. All this from a proud draft dodger, child molester and foul mouthed bigot. May God have mercy on his soul.

    February 25, 2014 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. FLUX

    No matter what he says now he will always be remembered as a racist. He should just shut up before he makes even more stupid remarks.

    February 25, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Curmudgeon

    GOP needs to keep him leashed as a fund raising attack dog. Left to his own devises, he's a political liability.

    February 25, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. yerkiddinright

    If he stops calling people names and cuts down on the vitriol, he'll end up completely silent. I'm all for it. Maybe he can also stop with the dated crotch rock and really do us a favor.

    February 25, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. squiggs

    This guy is a draft dodging pedophile who has wrote about having relationships with underage girls and he has become the darling ot the family values party. This says that to these people being black is worst than refusing to fight for your country and writing and singing about relationships with underage girls. The hypocirsy of the right knows no boundaries.

    February 25, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. nk

    I love how people counter by calling him names and think its OK yet they're doing the same. Only a kid would get upset about hearing this. When will people realize that you're entitled to your opinion. It seems like these days if anyone opposes Obama they're called a racist.

    February 25, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. klpzdm

    The draft dodger is calling people names.

    February 25, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. JBHedgehog

    NO! Ted...don't stop!

    You're funny...like a clown.

    February 25, 2014 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. bennyrowe

    Nugent effective? Yeah, at undermining the credibility of every Republican candidate who's stupid enough to associate with him. Go Ted!

    February 25, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. CommonSense

    Hy-Po-Cri-Sy – Where are all the people calling out the recent name-callers that are far more incendiary and hateful toward Justice Clarence Thomas?! Oh...that's right...you folks only make a story out of and defend attacks against people you agree with...hate toward consrervatives if fully justified...

    February 25, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC


    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.
    I'm sorry, but the "they do it, too" argument is never a good one. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

    Besides, neither Matthews nor O'Donnell call people names. If they did, or do, then wouldn't you think that it would be all over the news with the whole of the conservative movement calling for their scalps and have them kicked off the air waves?

    February 25, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. 1alien1

    ted, you go on acting like a hateful clown, you are the republican party

    February 25, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. AndyM

    Didn't Nugent promise to be arrested or dead if Obama got re-elected? Maybe he shouldn't be so quick in his crusade to point out the lies of others.

    February 25, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Cinman

    Alcohol induced moron.

    February 25, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    "Who maketh thee to differ from another:..What hast thou that thou didst not receive?? (1st Corinthians 4: 7)
    We are 1 Body,1 Spirit, 1 Hope, 1 Lord, 1 Faith, 1 Baptism, 1 God and Father of All, above All, through All, and in us/You All (Ephesians 4: 4-6). "there shall be ONE fold, and ONE shepherd" (John 10: 16)

    February 25, 2014 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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