Gingrich: Nugent's Word Choice Wrong, but Media Outrage 'Selective'

Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 07:53 PM

By Greg Richter

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Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is calling out "selective outrage" by the media over controversial comments that rocker Ted Nugent made about President Barack Obama.

Nugent, a member of the board of the National Rifle Association, in a recent interview with called Obama a "subhuman mongrel."

On Tuesday, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer called Nugent out for the term, noting that Nazis used that term to justify killing Jews during World War II.

"They called them 'untermenschen,' subhuman mongrels," Blitzer said on his midday program, "Wolf." "If you read some of the literature that the Nazis put out there, there is a long history of that specific phrase he used involving the president of the United States."

Later, on his program "The Situation Room," Blitzer asked Gingrich, a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," whether Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott should distance himself from Nugent, who has endorsed Abbott for governor and invited him to appear with him on the campaign trail.

Story continues below video.

Gingrich acknowledged that "what Ted Nugent said is stupid; I don't support it." But he added, "I've always loved selective media outrage."

Democrats have similar supporters who say stupid things, Gingrich said, yet he's never seen the media get upset over it.

"The Saturday before the 2000 election, Al Gore went to a black church and charged that George W. Bush would appoint judges to return blacks to be counted as three-fifths of a person. In 2012, Vice President [Joe] Biden went to a black audience and said if the Republicans win, within a hundred days they'll put you back in chains," Gingrich said.

Blitzer acknowledged that "Democrats are stupid, too," and said he would call out any Democrat who allowed someone onstage with him who had said something similar about a Republican.

"You're not clearly as outraged at Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate, for embracing Ted Nugent, inviting him to campaign with him as, clearly, I am," Blitzer said to Gingrich.

"No, not at all," Gingrich answered, explaining that Nugent didn't know of the Nazi reference when he made the statement.

During the 8½ minute interview with, Nugent uses the term "subhuman" for drug abusers and CNN host Piers Morgan, whom he has debated. He applies the term "mongrel" only to Obama, about seven minutes into the interview, which was conducted at a gun show booth.

Mediaite reports that he also called Obama a "chimpanzee." Nugent does use the term near the end of the interview, but it is not clear from the context whether he intends the term be applied to Obama.

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