Secret Service looking into Ted Nugent’s violent anti-Obama rant
The Canadian PressBy Lee-Anne Goodman, The Canadian Press |
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating faded ’70s rock star Ted Nugent for his recent insistence he’ll be “dead or in jail” in a year’s time if President Barack Obama is re-elected in November.
At a convention of the National Rifle Association over the weekend, the longtime gun advocate compared Obama and the Democrats to a coyote who should be shot.
“It isn’t the enemy that ruined America,” he said as he reaffirmed his endorsement of Republican front-runner Mitt Romney.
“It’s good people who bent over and let the enemy in. If the coyote’s in your living room pissing on your couch, it’s not the coyote’s fault. It’s your fault for not shooting him.”
He accused the Obama administration of being “evil” and “America-hating.”
“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” he said angrily. “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”
He then told his audience of proud gun-owners that if they failed to “clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.”
The Secret Service says it’s aware of the weekend remarks and is looking into them. It’s illegal in the United States to threaten the commander-in-chief.
The Romney campaign, meantime, attempted to distance itself from Nugent on Tuesday, undoubtedly regretting the former Massachusetts governor’s comments last month to a Missouri radio show: “It’s been fun getting to know Ted Nugent.”
“Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email to reporters. “Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil.”
Romney sought, and secured, the endorsement last month of the rock guitarist from his native state of Michigan. It was a curious move by Romney given he’d already won the Michigan primary in February.
The Democratic National Committee called on Romney to strongly condemn the remarks by Nugent, best known for his late ’70s hit “Cat Scratch Fever.”
“Threatening violence — or whatever it is that Nugent’s threatening — is clearly beyond the pale, but Nugent’s not the one running for president,” said DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
At the daily White House press briefing on Tuesday, spokesman Jay Carney wouldn’t comment on Nugent’s remarks.
“We can’t be policing the statement of supporters across the board. The president is focused on the issues,” he said.
Nugent, however, was unapologetic, telling conservative radio host Dana Loesch that his incendiary remarks were “100 per cent positive.”
“I will stand by my speech,” he said, adding he’d been unfairly targeted for his comments.
“I’m a black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally. And there are some power-abusing, corrupt monsters in our federal government that despise me because I have the audacity to speak the truth.”
He then upped the ante by heaping more scorn on Democrats, describing Wasserman Schultz as a “brain-dead, soulless, heartless idiot.”
Nancy Pelosi, minority leader for the House of Representatives, he added, is a “sub-human scoundrel.”
Nugent also claimed the generally mild-mannered Romney agreed with his remarks.
“Mitt Romney knows what I’m saying is true. He puts it into words for him, I put it into words for me,” he said.