Jeff Nugent says brother Ted Nugent ‘crossed a line’ with ‘sub-human’ comment

Ted Nugent has said a lot of shocking things in his long career as a wild-eyed rocker, gun-rights champion, bow hunter and all-around conservative provocateur. But his latest rhetorical grenade — in which he referred to President Obama as a “sub-human mongrel” — seems to have rattled a window in his own house. His brother Jeff Nugent, wasn't pleased.

“I still love him, but this time he’s clearly crossed a line,” Jeff Nugent said in an interview.

I met Jeff Nugent in the summer while writing a long profile of Ted Nugent for the Washington Post Magazine (here’s a link). Jeff Nugent, a longtime corporate executive who was once the CEO of Revlon and Neutrogena, has a close relationship with his younger, louder brother, talking to him frequently, joining him on tour occasionally and deer hunting with him every year in Michigan. The brothers have been on different sides of issues in the past, most notably on gun control (Jeff Nugent has worked in support of background checks).

Jeffrey Nugent (left) and Ted Nugent with a wild boar they killed in 2006. (Courtesy of Jeffrey Nugent)
Jeffrey Nugent (left) and Ted Nugent with a wild boar they killed in 2006. (Courtesy of Jeffrey Nugent)

Now the older Nugent is speaking out on  Ted Nugent’s choice of words. Jeff Nugent said he is booked to appear Tuesday night on CNN’s "Erin Burnett OutFront," following Ted Nugent’s appearance on the program Monday (during which he promised to quit “calling people names.")

Jeff Nugent also sent the following comments:

Being Ted’s older brother, I have known him from birth and he hasn’t changed much. He has always been provocative. This time, I am offended.

His latest crossed line was the reference to President Obama as a “sub human mongrel.” It doesn’t matter what he was trying to communicate, the president of the United States is not a sub human.

Ted has just apologized for that remark and I personally accept that and his promise to not call people names in the future. That will be hard for him but I’ll continue to offer advice and a cattle prod to help him keep that promise.

I did not vote for President Obama but have significant respect for the office he holds – whether I agree with him or not. I have the same opinion of the overwhelming majority of our members of Congress, namely I would never vote for them. They test our ability to respect their offices. I’m offended by the way they have conducted themselves and the direction they have given our country. I’m offended by the collective leadership we have in Washington. It is no secret that their collective approval rating is in the single digits. Frankly, their actions speak louder than my brother’s choice of vocabulary.

I’m not defending Ted one bit. When he crosses lines it offends me and I tell him directly. I’m not easily offended, but he isn’t the only one who does.

Asked to respond by e-mail, Ted Nugent sent the following: “No response. His words stand & I stand with him.”

Steve Hendrix came to The Post more than ten years ago from the world of magazine freelancing and has written for just about every page of the paper: Travel, Style, the Magazine, Book World, Foreign, National and, most recently, the Metro section’s Enterprise Team.
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