The controversy erupted after the self-styled “Motor City Madman” made an impassioned plea for support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the National Rifle Association meeting in St. Louis last weekend. “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November,” Nugent said of the Obama administration.
He also included a cryptic pronouncement: “If Barack Obama becomes the next president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
Outraged Democrats circulated the remarks and suggested they were threatening. Secret Service spokesman George Ogilvie confirmed that the agency was looking into the matter but declined to give details. “We are aware of the incident and we are taking appropriate follow-up,” Ogilvie said.
Nugent said he was simply trying to galvanize voters. The hard rocker, best known for ’70s hits like “Cat Scratch Fever,” is a conservative activist and has a history of heated and sometimes vulgar criticism of Obama. Nugent endorsed Romney after speaking to him last month.
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Nugent’s words at the NRA convention and following it could backfire on the candidate he hoped to support, according to She the People’s Suzi Parker.
On Tuesday, Nugent found fire in his belly again on a radio show. He spewed venom toward Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who condemned Nugent's comments about Obama, and toward Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“Wasserman Schultz is such a brain-dead, soulless idiot,” Nugent said. “I could not be more proud that this soulless, heartless idiot feebly attempts to find fault with Ted Nugent, because I am on the right track and she just encourages me to stand stronger.”
Nugent then called the two female Democratic leaders “varmints.”
In a year when the war on women rages, Nugent’s words leave a sour taste and conjure up unsettling, violent images. Of course, under the constitution, Nugent has the right to say anything. But, as my mother always says, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s camp tepidly denounced Nugent’s comments about Obama, but has said nothing so far about his comments on Schultz and Pelosi. “Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. “Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil.”
When Nugent endorsed Romney in March, his son, Tagg Romney,tweeted, “Ted Nugent endorsed my Dad today. Ted Nugent? How cool is that?! He joins Kid Rock as great Detroit musicians on team Mitt!”