(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.
"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.
Folks like him appeal to a very small but extremely vocal minority...the squeaky wheel gets the grease so anytime they want attention, they say something outrageous. The media hurries (mikes in hand) toward the loud noise and BINGO!...he's all over the place for days on end in essence detracting from issues that really matter..
I agree. Comments not racist; apply to most politicians, bankers, CEOs, lawyers, actors and actresses whose ranks have the highest percentage of sociopaths.
Ted Nugent is a bonafide racist. No doubt about. I guess that makes him a peanut pattie with a brain to match. I am sick of these so called racist rednecks demeaning the Black President of the US. I wonder what he will say to Jesus when he has to bow before him? Jesus Christ is the master of all of us and these self righteous hypocrites will be judged by him. Stop embarassing this country with hate or else it will be doomed.
Namelinda....Woa.....That is your biased left wing fueled opinion. I see it much differently and race does NOT play into it. And thats all I'm going to say about that.
Why give this racist a time to run his mouth on live tv.
Right....I'm going to take moral direction for a guy who had himself declared legal guardian of a 17 year old so he could sleep with her....and who sang songs about 13 year olds in the same vein. Really...is someone being pro gun and bashing the President ALL they have to do to be a hero to the far right?
Nugent can insist all he wants, does not change what came from his piehole.
Most TeaKlan act like Gomer Pyle on Meth. Take a look at this guys eyes – how many drugs has he popped?
Guess that is representative of the red states – hillbillies have typically been large drug users. (I'd do drugs also if my main squeeze was my cousin, and she didn't have any teeth).
I love it when right wing wackos (you know, the ones that preach personal responsibility) blame everybody else when they they get called out when they say (or do) something stupid.
This guy is a draft dodging load of manure....
Ted fancies himself as a mental giant. He tries to make an intelligent intellectual argument to make a case for his use of the word mongrel and only shows his ignorance by equating it to how Obama used it. Nugent is a ego driven narcissist!!!
Ted Nugent is great. Give him Morgan's slot! Erin was an idiot
Ted Nugent made CNN and Erin Burnett look like complete racist idiots! Excellent stuff!
Go back to your farm... animals will be more tolerate with your language than us...
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Abbott would intentionally court the racists in Texas. There happens to be quite a few and I am sure they will all vote for him. I don't know how much more brazen the GOP has to be before the rest of the country calls them on being the racists that they are.
I'm not racist either but let's face it this is one HUGE piece of Texas white trailer trash rather her lives in one or not.
By the way, I'm both Texan and white!
let him keep spewing his hate. he is useful to democrats .he causes the independents to vote democratic
I thought Mr. Nugent had said if Obama won the presidency he would move. I guess he has changed his mind. He rambles on about Bengazi however, compare the number of casualties to the numbers of people dying of gun violence everyday in this country and it's not even close. Just because Mr. Nugent still has the vivid dreams of combat running through his mind and takes out his anger on animals, he can't relive his military days over and over. Oh that's righthe is another one of the gutless republicans that have never served. Let the President run the country and you stick to making noise.
Obama is all Ted said and more. Most know this..
Nugent is far from racist, just because he calls Obama a liar ( which is documented ) and Hillary a liar ( which is documented ) doesn't mean he is a racist or a woman hater. Just means he is telling you the truth .
Why in the world is anyone listening to this person?
If the media stopped quoting every word that slimes from his mouth he would go away.
I wouldn't have called the prez a mongrel......Im_becile is sufficient.............
Mr. Liberal: your president has never served, ever!!!! The only thing he was qualified to do prior to fooling the American people with his hope and change nonsense, was to "community organize"???? What the heck DOES that mean??!! It sure does NOT equip him to be president, that's for sure. He just loves to strut up on that stage with his half-a-pimp walk, stroll lazily to the microphone, and remind everyone how he is a constitutional scholar. Apparently, he sucks at that too, because he is systematically issuing directive after directive, flaunting the constitutional process, and has already been slapped down at least once by a federal judge.....He likes to say "elections have consequences" – well here's a consequence for you Obama: when you repeatedly lie and obfuscate to the American people, there are consequences for that................May your last three sorry years in the white house insure that never again will a liberal dolt be elected president of the United States
It doesn't matter what he's actually saying, it all comes out sounding just like "WHITE POWER!!!!". It's the same reason all of his concerts now look like Klan rallies.
Mr. Liberal says "let the president run the country and you stick to making noise" – Run the country? is that what Obama is doing?? Yeah, he's running it right into the ground.....thus insuring it will be a long time, generations perhaps, before we see another leftist liberal be POTUS
It seems like if u r white u r a racist