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. jge

    dave1157 said it best

    February 25, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Cat

    Hey Ted, why dont you and Dick Cheney go hunting together. We could solve two problems.

    February 25, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Mike

    brp – Right. Kanye West did sat that about Bush and what was the republican's response? It wasn't about freedom of speech like they are now claiming. Hypocrites.

    February 25, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Diane Hyde Coffman

    Call a white man, subhuman mongrel, and what would happen, nothing of significance. The expression he used is expressing my opinion, but I am not saying it on CNN. I deplore Obama, his lies and scandal coverups. You have to be very carefully when voicing a opinion of a black person. After all, we all don't like Obama because he is black, what a bunch of bull.

    February 25, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Obvious

    The record is crystal clear. Obama is a liar. Of course, in Obama-speak it is "the best information we had at the time". The Omedia gleefully report it like it's an historic achievement. It happens over and over.

    February 25, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. JAVO

    What walking zero who's full of himself. Type of guy who who would get his face punched in everyday in Jersey.

    February 25, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. registered voter

    TRUE TRUE TRUE and TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. Let's not forget he's also a drunken alcoholic, dope fing, petafile, uneducated idiot and a blowhort/bigmouth fool longing for attention.

    In case some of you all do not know what a thug sounds like. Ted is what you call a thug. did not have the courage to serve his country, but brave enough to talk behind the protection of the country laws.

    February 25, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. oharris30

    Well it's a shameful day for this country when we have to focus on what a nut case says. the repub party should stop electing ex mental patients for candidates. Palin, bauchman, Cruz, rand Paul, and most of them Really sad.

    February 25, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. oharris30

    not a spokesperson for the repubs, Abbott made him a spokesperson. whomever invited him to the STOTU made him a spokesperson.

    February 25, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. volsocal

    He left out "Reparationist".

    February 25, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. dinkydow

    Big deal.....In 2008 Jessie Jackson called Obama an Interloper and no one cared. That same year Al Sharpton stated that Obama simply wasn't black enough to be the first black President.

    And really, if it's name calling that worries everybody, how about listening to liberals talk. As vile as it gets.

    So, put on your big boy pants and tough up.

    February 25, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. Nodack

    Just keep talking Nugent. You are the poster boy for crazy right wing.

    February 25, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC


    Liberals sure love to stereotype. I respect Ted's beliefs but don't in any way see him as some sort of spokesperson for Republicans or Tea Party members like liberals would like everyone to believe. I think Ted would be offended by being put into a category anyhow
    Nugent is a spokesperson, plain and simple. Republicans take him to fund raisers and on the campaign trail. He's been used as a surrogate. What else would you call it? Many Republicans have remarked that they could use him in the future. And that is the real reason why Nugent's comments have drawn so much attention.

    February 25, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Marie

    I agree that our president has lied repeatedly. I don't understand how that is any different than any other person on the face of the planet. We all lie. I bet Ted Nugent has lied as well. I know our government is not to be trusted and is in sorry shape. I know that it will never be ok. I know that it won't last another 20 years. Something so dysfunctional and broken just can't go on forever. The only question is where does it leave any of us? We could all keep on supporting a party who lies and cheats and perpetuates our demise, OR Not. The United States are supposed to be indivisible under god. We say that pledge everyday, yet we are divided. Our own government is dividing us to keep us from having the power to make things right.

    February 25, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Tom Paine: "There is nothing empowering about Nugent, Limbaugh, or anyone on the radio. Its people being paid to rant the sort of garbage we used to hear in a bar from the town drunk."

    Certainly these are NOT the people I would invite into my home day after day (albeit the airwaves). To what end others are so willing to do so ... is and always will be (to me anyway) quite baffling for me to ever comprehend.

    February 25, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Kansas Cowboy

    Can we please please please ignore all moronic demagogues, left and right, and let them fade into the oblivion they deserve?
    Left and right? Which side takes one of your "moronic demagogues" out onto the trail to campaign with them? Hey, Abbot!

    February 25, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. dirtybird

    Where was CNN's outrage against the people of the Left who called George Bush Jr a chimpanzee, a redĕck, a hi11billy, a criminal, and made movies that fantasized about his murder?

    CNN's outrage at Ted Nugent's comments is an obvious and clear indication of this network's hypocrisy.

    February 25, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. sly

    Why would anyone care what any Republican TeaKlan thinks?

    This is OUR America now. We run it. We are bringing progressive change, and leaving the racists behind.

    Republicans enjoy close to 10% support – lowest level ever, as the party has disintegrated.

    So move on here folks – they are obsolete. We run our nation, and these are good times to be a proud American!

    February 25, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. Namejbs

    When your isolated, out of touch,....makes sense..maybe Ted needs to come out of the woods and talk to some real people with real problems. ..ask Sean Hannity about class warfare mongering, he knows all about it!!

    February 25, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Boomer in Mo

    THE problem here is the word subhuman (less than human) applied to anyone and also because that term's history with the Nazis. Nugent said the President is less than human. About what my great-grandparents said about their slaves and what my grandmother thought about Blacks (she always used the N word and, for some reason, Germans who spoke with an accent back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Nugent can say whatever he wants but politicians need to understand when they have him campaign for them, his rhetoric splashes on to them.

    February 25, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Terry

    To the dems any criticism is deemed racist. Pathetic.

    February 25, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Ted

    What I want to know is if any of the 9 children, 11 grandchildren or Ted himself didn’t get to keep their doctor. Unless you actually didn’t get to keep your doctor you weren’t lied too.

    February 25, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. OrmondGeorge

    I'm sure that it is just my limited intellect that is preventing me from comprehending this
    How can a comment about someone's value on the evolutionary scale ("subhuman") AND their ethnic/RACIAL ("mongrel") NOT BE RACIST???
    I am guessing that "subhuman refers to the 3/5 of a man that slaves were valued at.
    Can anyone help me on this one?

    February 25, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Have you missed when Kanye West said that George Bush doesn't care about black people?
    No. Ne we did not.
    Did you notice how even though George Bush ALLOWED all those Black people to drown, starve, and go without water or help Kanye West kept it very classy and did NOT call him all the many trashy names that would immediately come to mind?
    Subhuman mongrel amongst them?
    You DON'T want to go there......good job Brownie.

    February 25, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...And Barbara Bush with her infamous "Why, they are better off here than they were back in their homes" as she looked around at the Black follks that had been "housed" in a Houston STADIUM.
    You really can't make these people up....

    February 25, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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