(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.
This guy has made remarks in the past in which he has renounced and apologized for so it is not the first time. If it happened once before I may forgive him for making a foolish mistake but not when it happens over and over. He is a racist and if any political candidates allows him in any event shows their true colors. I salute Senator Rand Paul for denouncing him and not permitting him any podium to continue his racist rants.
Sorry, I'm not buying it. When Ted Nugent referred to our President as a "subhuman mongrel". he knew it was a widely-known infamous term straight from the Nazi Party to refer to mixed-race people (at his somewhat advanced age, there is no way he could have heard this thousands of times) and he knew our President was born of a black father & white mother when you said it. What this is really about, is he just didn't expect America to get really angry with him.
Nugent is an embarrassment to this nation, a big time fool. Unfortunately he gives outdoorsmen a bad reputation. Not all hunters, fishermen, campers, etc. feel this way, its only a very small percentage. Its ashamed he is getting the media attention.
Isn't Nugent supposed to be dead or in jail at this point?
Typo: "there is no way he could have NOT heard this thousands of times"
No difference between Lindsey,Brittany, and Ted. Anything for pub. Has been from a nothing.
Who's Ted Nugent?
At least he said it. It got out there.
No way is he telling the truth. Everyone over 40 knows those words are an infamous Nazi term for mixed-race people.
I am amazed that so much attention is still being given to a racist coward draft evader who is also a has been rock star that hasn't released an album in 30 yrs, ignore this hypocritical bigot.
I wasn't supposed to mention this, but Nugent is actually in the employ of the Democrats.
Nugent seems to be enjoying himself in all this. Doesn't that say a lot about the GOP's poster boy?
What a loser ... However, his talk is still better than his Music... Lol. A terrible musician and human being
Ted Nugent needs to stick to music the only good thing he can do. Demonizing is the same as racist just politically as you say correct.
I think Obama is the king if Mongrels
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.
Since the day Obama took the oath of office :
You screamed about his birth certificate.....nothing there.
called him a communist....nothing there
a Marxist........nothing there
a socialist............nothing there
Solyndra ?... nothing there
IRS ?,,,,,,,,nothing there.
Benghazi ?.......nothing there.
ACA, its had some problems, but its loads better than what we had before.
Seems to me that you are either level headed about Obama
or a flat out racist, desperatly trying to find something bad about him.
Hillary is up next.
is ted still alive.I tot he killed himself just as he said he will do if obama is re-elected.
Oh never mind he is a coward.or he misplaced his gun.i can supply him free bullets if he wants to do what he said he will do if obama get a 2nd term
There is a reason why Ted thinks he is....
The Great White Buffalo !
There are men who don't think with their brain.
Guess Teds too old to play Tarzan anymore.
Me Tedzan you Jane.
I thought Mr. Nugent had said if Obama won the presidency he would move
No, he said he would be in jail or be dead.
I was kinda hoping.
Know what ?
This makes Ted Nugent.....A LIAR !
Why is this guy even listened to?
is he white? check. is he critical of obama? check. than OF COURSE he is a racist, at least according to the hypocritical bi gots on the left
Old habits dies hard. Sure comments were racist. It can never go away as long as some one is in white house who does not belong to their color.
Ted Nugent is a great hunter and sportsman.
He owns a "MINK" farm.
I can see him running around with his rifle plugging all those little minks.
Isnt that like Sarah palin hunting from a helicopter ?
Nugent's remark was certainly not racist. By referring to obama as a "subhuman mongrel", Nugent called him a dog.
Personally, I did not care for Nugent's comment, because he did a disservice to dogs everywhere. Imagine, giving obama such a high status! It's outrageous!