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. bribarian

    Why? Why do people cave to the liberal media? You act like liberals show any respect to anyone lol....keep it up imo.

    February 25, 2014 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  2. Juergen

    I always kind of liked Nugent. He was always out there but he made sense.

    This outburst of his has me wondering if he's lost the ability to communicate in a civilized fashion. Too bad. Being on the edge is one thing. He stepped way over the line with this last outburst.

    February 25, 2014 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  3. Vicki

    Great a liar like Nugent thinks he can lie and lie and lie and hate our President and we will think anything but that Nugent is the liar and the worst liar in the news lately. He is one sickening person who I would want to take a shower after even hearing anything he says about President Obama who has been able to help our country recover after Bush and Cheney caused so much harm and financial ruin. Nugent is a bigot and a racist and that is not all I would call him. He is someone who should shut-up and go away.

    February 25, 2014 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  4. Zerogame

    People stopped paying attention to Ted years ago. The only way to he could get back in the public eye was to be totally egregious in his actions and thought, he has succeeded. Being a divider was easier than bring people together.

    February 25, 2014 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  5. DAve

    Ted, Class warfare has been going on far before Obama came into office. Obama isn't any different from the rest of our previous presidents, that goes for both parties. It's just another face. The thing is, you give the president way too much credit. The president doesn't have as much control over the government as you think.

    February 25, 2014 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Who cares what a burned out rock star has to say about politics? GO count your millions and shut up if you can still count with your drug addled brain.

    February 25, 2014 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  7. David R

    Quit giving this idiot any more press.

    February 25, 2014 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  8. ferryman

    Yeah, "subhuman mongrel" was overkill. All he had to say is "liberal democrat"; that would have been insulting enough!

    February 25, 2014 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  9. Just A Guy

    I'll agree that they aren't racist comments, but that doesn't mean they aren't coming from a non racist person. His comments are nothing short of dehumanizing to the president, and his level of disrespect is appalling for someone who claims to be a patriot. If your patriotism is limited to the political party of the person you target, then you're no patriot at all.

    February 25, 2014 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  10. CW

    When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic..

    – Some old white guy from an intolerant era.

    February 25, 2014 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  11. shawn l

    I hate when people tug out the race card. It makes me automatically want to shut my ears and not listen.
    However, in this instance, it was pretty obviously racist and hateful.

    February 25, 2014 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  12. Woody

    His Puppeteers finally found the string that controls his mouth.

    February 25, 2014 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  13. matt houston

    Yet another fine example of Republican demographics. Talk about not admitting who and what they really are about.

    February 25, 2014 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  14. Shan

    No one will take Ted Nugent seriously . Many people conceived a bad opinion of him from his remarks of our President.

    February 25, 2014 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  15. mungo

    Republicans should already know that, most Americans have some kind of mixed blood.

    February 25, 2014 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  16. Scott

    Then why doesn't he come out and call McConnell or Boehner or the NRA liars?

    February 25, 2014 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  17. Tom Jensen

    So Mr. Nugent likes to call people names, but claims there is no race baiting involved, but when the President uses the same term, he is a race baiter. Interesting. Secondly, since Mr. Nugent likes to insinuate that only Democrats lie and that the Conservatives are honest. I wonder if he could explain Wis. Gov. Scott Walker answering a question posed to him the week before he was first elected in which he was asked about a rumor that he would be going after Collective Bargaining for Public Employees with the response, "Absolutely Not!" but then a month later doing that exact thing. Seems to be the same issue he has with Pres. Obama would preclude him from backing Gov. Walker, and just about any politician. My guess is, that like most people, he will continue to defend those he sides with, irregardless of their behaviors, while attacking those he disagrees with, irregardless of anything.

    February 25, 2014 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  18. J Savik

    I won't. I'll give O'bozo the same respect and civility democrats gave President Bush.

    February 25, 2014 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  19. Mtheumer

    Remember when the right got all bent out of shape when the President invited rapper Common to the White House? Good times right?

    February 25, 2014 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  20. tesla1908

    Why should he stop? Will the liberals stop calling him names and threatening him because of his views?

    February 25, 2014 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  21. Mentalcase

    Shows you what a pu/nk Ted is. When his political buddies told him to shut up he shut up.

    February 25, 2014 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  22. Jo

    Sorry, but who is he?

    February 25, 2014 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  23. nemo0037

    Aw, isn't that sweet... Nugent actually believes that someone out there will believe he's not a racist just because he says so! It's really sad to see these cowards in operation. Not very many racists out there who are willing to admit in public that they are what their words scream to the world. But we all know how true to the coward colors Nugent has been all his life. What a pitiful little brat.

    February 25, 2014 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  24. The Tony

    There's many folks like him, stand up and be counted! At least he takes off the hood while speaking. "Racist" must be worst than the n-word cause even racists don't liked to be called that.

    February 25, 2014 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  25. Nomad

    That a boy Ted. Open your mouth and confirm to the world how stupid you are.

    February 25, 2014 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
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