February 24th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

Nugent apologizes for using term 'subhuman mongrel'

(CNN) – Conservative activist and rocker Ted Nugent apologized Friday for using the term "subhuman mongrel" to describe President Barack Obama.

"I do apologize–not necessarily to the President–but on behalf of much better men than myself," he said in an interview with conservative radio host Ben Ferguson, who's also a CNN political commentator.

Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee this year, came under heavy criticism from Democrats this week for campaigning with Nugent, who's known for making outlandish comments about the President.

Nugent said he apologizes "for using the streetfighter terminology of 'subhuman mongrel' instead of just using more understandable language, such as 'violator of his oath to the Constitution'."

In his apology, Nugent appeared to regret more the fact that his language has been tied to Republican politicians from his state, such as Abbott, Gov. Rick Perry, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

"I apologize for using the term," he said. "I will try to elevate my vernacular to the level of those great men that I'm learning from in the world of politics."

Later on in the interview–after some people on Twitter argued Nugent's comments weren't a real apology–Ferguson asked Nugent if he was directly apologizing to the President for the comments.

"Yes," Nugent replied.

Watch Ted Nugent on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront" Monday night starting at 7 p.m. ET.


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Filed under: News • Politics • Ted Nugent
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. bob

    Nugent lies when he says clinton said the killing of four americans did not matter.erin burnet says nothing. Why don people belive the media

    February 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  2. Denise


    Very impressive interview with Ted Nugent. I don't know how you kept in control...wow!

    He really does not help this nation at all...he is all about the polarization and causing more hate.

    Every time you hear a republican say Benghazi...I just wish you were able to ask that person, "what about all the other embassies that were attacked before Benghazi? Do they matter?

    Thank you for standing up for addressing the issues in regard to calling a woman, no matter who, a c- among other things.

    It's really sad to think that he truly believes he is the one who is representing "The People" and what is worse is that he thinks the President is the one dividing the country.


    February 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  3. Jaylene Lewis

    You handled this interview very well; with dignity and grace.
    Excellent work "under fire".

    February 24, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  4. Pete

    I may not agree with what Mr. Nugent say's, but I'll defend his right to say it with my life. Since when did we loose our freedom of speech?

    February 24, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  5. Anthony Cimino

    I think Erin Burnett deserves a trophy for "handling" Nugent. I would not have shown the patience she did. Excellent job. And, just a follow-up to Nugent's remark about the history books. I'm 75% sure President Obama, with what he has accomplished in office, will be remembered as one of the top 10 best Presidents in American history, I'm 100% sure Nugent won't be mentioned at all.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  6. Elizabeth

    I do disagree with a comment made by Ms. Burnett. I for one did not vote for Obama, so therefore, I do not nor will I EVER have respect for Obama, so who does she think she is stating that we must respect Obama and the office. That is totally rediculous. If he has so much respect got the US, then why did he refuse to pshow his birth certificate? And why is Hillary Clinton not in prison gor Bengazi? Obama should have put her in jail. Our presidential office is a disgrace and one morning Ms. Burnett and everyone else is going to wake up and wonder what country they are living in. So please Ms. Burnett, speak for yourself, not anyone else.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  7. Audrey M. Wilken

    Thank you, Erin, for facing down someone who makes his living criticizing Good people. This is an example of what or whom are running the NRA Seeing this interview, hopefully will wake up the good members of the Republican Party and we can get something done! Thank you for expressing what most Americans(Black,white, men, women,) are really thinking!! AMW

    February 24, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  8. Vicky

    Dear Erin,

    I really liked your interview with Nugent. You did a great job at holding your ground. Thanks for being a great reporter. Keep up the great work.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  9. jody

    Regarding Nugent, Ms. Burnett, like alot of media newspeople, you twisted words, and manipulated, nay, goaded the conversation, to try and justify your agenda. Most regular people, understood what Mr Nugent was saying at its basic level, we did not hear euphanizims, nor did we "read between the lines". He used the term chimpanzee, when discussing Mrs. Clinton and Bengazi, you immediately implied Mr Nugent was talking about the president. Truth be told, I hadn't even put those together until YOU stated it.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  10. Alice 777

    After listening to Ted on Erins' show today, I now know Ted is really a great American.......

    February 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  11. Jalon

    I find it funny when you say that President Obama should be respected whether you agree with him or not just because he's the president. Where was that viewpoint during the President G.W. Bush presidency. It's correct that the President should be given the respect he deserves, but not just when his politics happen to align with your own.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  12. Scott M

    Just watched Erin go toe to toe with Ted Nugent and want to say... she is my hero tonight! Nugent was noticeably rattled while Erin kept her cool and forced him to answer the hard questions and answer for what he's said in the past.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  13. artimhoff

    CNN should now be known as "The Apology Channel". Every nite I turn on CNN and someone somewhere is apologizing for something they said! CNN is leading the charge in PC hyper sensitive TV. CNN is the "the Apology Channel"!

    February 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  14. Gary Blackburn

    Erin-You have been one of my favorite news reporters for a long time, until tonight. I certainly hope you were told to by upper management to TRY and bash Ted Nugent and not your own idea. That was one of the worst interviews I have ever watched. You were totally out of line. It appeared you were trying to be like Matt Lauer and he has always been terrible.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  15. Harley Gomes

    Eri.n, you tried your hardest to make a great patriot for the people, Ted Nugent look bad, but failed. You should listen to yourself and see how rude and offensive you were. I will never watch your program again.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  16. Bob

    Great interview with Ted! I think he handled himself well, was very respectful to Erin, and did a wonderful job defending himself. WAY TO GO TED NUGENT!!!! KEEP IT UP BUDDY!

    February 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  17. chul pak

    Loved ur opinion on the office of the President. Ur 100% correct, like it or not we elected him.

    February 24, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  18. Kathie

    Not happy about giving nugent a voice so clearly generated by hate!

    February 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  19. laura randolph

    I have just cancelled my trip to Hell because it is a certainty that Ted Nugent will be there and I could not stand being in a room with him let alone forever in Hell with him forever

    February 24, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  20. Theresa O'Connell

    Can he really say that four men in Benghazi is worse than the lie told by the republican party to start a war? What about all those people who died?

    February 24, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  21. Al

    Hey Ms. Burnett, Please let us know when Ted Nugent comes to California, we will be waiting with our shoes to well come him. He is a through breaded RACIST. A big lair and bigot.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  22. Raj

    In reference to Paula Deen apology, nobody believes her, because once a racist always a racist, and if she never meant any of the things she said, why did she say it on media, because she believes in what she thinks and she spoke her mind, so as for me I will never forgive what she said and never watch her shows or buy any of her products.

    February 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  23. Roger Kirby

    Why are you giving Ted Nugent the opportunity to spew more hate to a national audience? He has nothing new to add to the national conversation. Let him continue his apology on the Limbaugh or Beck shows – I wonder how their listeners would respond>.

    February 24, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Reply

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