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Nugent apologizes for calling President "subhuman mongrel"
(CNN) - Conservative activist and rocker Ted Nugent apologized Friday for using the term "subhuman mongrel" to describe President Barack Obama.
"I do apologizenot necessarily to the Presidentbut 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 interviewafter some people on Twitter argued Nugent's comments weren't a real apologyFerguson asked Nugent if he was directly apologizing to the President for the comments.
"Yes," Nugent replied.
While Perry and Cruz both said they found Nugent's original comment inappropriate, they didn't rule out campaigning with him.
Sen. Rand Paul, however, made headlines when he called on Nugent to apologize Thursday night.
"Ted Nugent's derogatory description of President Obama is offensive and has no place in politics. He should apologize," the Kentucky Republican tweeted.
Asked by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer Thursday in an interview "The Situation Room" about Nugent, longtime Perry said "The idea that Ted Nugent has said something that's outrageous shouldn't surprise anybody."
Perry, who's considering a second bid for the Republican presidential nomination, added that Nugent "shouldn't have said something like that about the President of the United States."
And Cruz distanced himself with what Nugent said in an exclusive interview Wednesday with CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.
"Those sentiments there, of course, I don't agree with them. You've never heard me say such a thing and nor would I," Cruz said.
But the GOP senator, who's also entertaining a 2016 run, embraced Nugent's outspoken stance in support of the Second Amendment.
"I will note, there are reasons Ted Nugent - people listen to him, which is that he has been fighting passionately for Second Amendment rights. And - and this administration has demonstrated an incredible hostility to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," Cruz said.