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. Rjli

    Regardless of political officiation, there should be some respect for the president.

    Calling obama a subhuman mongrel just shows ignorance.

    I'm not a nugent hater and he has some good ideas. But he has a huge alpha male ego and it's his way or the highway.

    February 25, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    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
    I think that you've captured the full breadth and depth of it.

    February 25, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. tribecagal

    I insist that Ted Nugent is a pea brained yahoo.

    February 25, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. SGT Rock101

    ..........I don't see him as a spokesman for the repubs in any way........Well, then why is he a guest speaker and campaigner for a Tex gov candidate? You must have skipped civics class in grade school to practice with the band.

    February 25, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. dkhhuey

    Hey Ted – you are nothing but a liar, a draft dodger, and a pathetically ignorant man. You said if Obama got re-elected you'd either be dead or in jail! As a previous poster suggested, why don't you and Darth Cheney go on a week long hunting trip together – the world would greatly benefit from the results!

    February 25, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    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!
    HEAR! HEAR! sly.

    February 25, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Allan

    @ dinkydow

    Interloper: (noun) a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong.

    mongrel: (noun) a dog of no definable type or breed

    please tell me how these are equivalent

    February 25, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    My girl Dominican Mama! And don't forget what Mama Bush said about "those people".

    February 25, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Mack

    washed up , pedophile, a drug addict and a chicken hawk

    why should I care what Ted says

    February 25, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. cbp

    Sorry, Mr. Nugent, but your comments were not only racist but totally irresponsible.

    February 25, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. castaway

    I think it's pretty common knowledge by now that anyone who opposes or shows disdain for our president is a racist. This is just another shining example of such. It's a shame the media is so far up the presidents back side they come to his defense every time someone disagrees with him. That's why I get my news from Fox and I get my laughs from Chicken Noodle News.

    February 25, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Hands Off

    The President told the truth of the intent of the plan. The greedy, bloodsucking insurance companies then changed the rules and rather than upgrade their insufficient policies voluntarily, they cancelled them. The main problem with Obamacare is that the insurance companies had no restraints put on it,

    February 25, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. wrm

    Everything everyone says against Obama is racist, by definition.

    Not sure what they were saying when they were doing the same to WJ Clinton but that was then and it's all racism these days. Maybe you need a refresher course.

    February 25, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |

    Ted is an aging rock singer who suffers from neuron loss. His ad hominem attacks tell me he cannot address issues logically. His voice is a blip on the world stage.

    February 25, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Chris in VA

    Got a song for Ted to add to his set list. Hint: it's a Denis Leary tune. It's 3 chords, so he might have some trouble with it.

    February 25, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Jim

    Ted not so eloquent or articulate, but overall intent solid–keep trying Ted! Erin B needs improve her body language & professionalism ASAP much as I admire her, or she can go way of Piers Morgan, as I advised CNN in Fall (P Morgan), & now, E Burnett. Go Wolf B & A Cooper! Those are Professionals & unbiased!

    February 25, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Name Bill N.

    Why does the media continue to give this racist hillbilly a platform for his vile words?

    February 25, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. hurtsdonut

    It's racist because liberals have deemed it so. Apparently at some point they were given authority to decide what we are & are not allowed to say. So far this year, they have deemed "thug" and "mongrel" to be racist, despite neither word having anything to do with race.

    Odd that they do not notice that they are the only people who assiciates these words with blacks (thus making them the true racists).

    February 25, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. NotForSale

    I don't know if it is racist but it is time to take a look at the people making these crazy remarks. People like Ted Nugent, Michelle Bachman, Dennis Miller, Ted Cruz etc. that believe they can outright lie or say anything they want I believe points to a bigger issue. Mental Instability. I left Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher out of this as they are entertainers and pretty much lie all the time. For them it's about money. For the others I mentioned, they can't possibly believe half of the garbage coming out of their mouth. If they do, then they have mental issues. There is a difference between a politician who skews facts versus those who know they are lying.

    February 25, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    He's pathetic. Nothing else needs to be said.

    February 25, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Agorhosa

    An apple does not fall far from an apple tree and here we go with this stupid man saying all the negative things about our president. Shame on this shameless monkey and the relative of David Duke

    February 25, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Wake up People!

    Actually thug has been code for the Enn word for several years now. Subhuman mongrel shouldn't need an explanation. Many whites in their quest to prove superiority over races they deem below them, have called blacks and Jews subhuman. Mongrel is a mixed race digg. Ted said what he meant and he meant what he said. Period.

    February 25, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Pete

    The witch that says that NUGENT's remark "MONGROL" is racist is a LIAR. mon·grel (mŭng′grəl, mŏng′-)
    1. An animal or a plant resulting from various interbreedings, especially a dog of mixed or undetermined breed.
    2. A cross between different breeds, groups, or varieties, especially a mixture that is or appears to be incongruous.

    February 25, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Pete

    BTW.......to bad CNN doesn't spend time on OBAMA's statements.

    February 25, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. debby the Jewess

    The mean is a uneducated bigot, who has phobias to people. He is a maniac and should keep his mouth shut. He makes all americans look bad, and if he wants to do his country a great service, he should stick to singing and keep the politics to a minimum. He knows not what he talks about, he spews hatred because he himself is full of self hate. Poor man, his wife and daughter suffer because of his stupidity. Dumb does not even begin to describe him.

    February 25, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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