Ted Nugent is back! Does Mitt Romney wish he'd zip it? (+video)(Read article summary)
Ted Nugent returned to the limelight Friday, insisting on a CBS show that he's a moderate, Romney-backing, 'nice guy' who takes children with serious illnesses on fishing trips. Somehow, though, his demeanor probably isn't reassuring to independent women voters.
Ted Nugent is back, and heâ€™s still talking like that, if you know what we mean. On a â€śCBS This Morningâ€ť appearance Friday, the "Motor City Madman" took umbrage at the suggestion that he isnâ€™t a moderate, yelled that he is â€śa perfect human being ... who stumbles perfectly,â€ť and bemoaned the fact that â€śpolitical correctness has somehow metastasized into the decisionmakers of the military.â€ť
OK, letâ€™s back up a second, shall we? A few weeks ago, Nugent was in trouble for calling top Obama officials â€ścriminalsâ€ť and for saying that if President Obama wins reelection â€śI will either be dead or in jail this time next year.â€ť
This resulted in a visit from the Secret Service. Itâ€™s illegal to threaten the life of the US president, and, as weâ€™ve written before, the agency devotes considerable resources to following up public comments that could be construed as calling for presidential harm. Call it the first line of defense.
Mitt Romney got dragged into this, as some Democrats called on him to denounce a guy they called a â€śRomney surrogate.â€ť Yes, Nugent publicly endorsed Mr. Romney earlier this year. But â€śsurrogateâ€ť? This is a guy who once labeled an album â€śTooth, Fang, and Claw.â€ť Weâ€™re pretty sure heâ€™s not interested in representing anyoneâ€™s opinions but his own.
This doesnâ€™t mean heâ€™s not causing Romney problems. A guy who wears camouflage everything and calls liberals â€śbrain dead,â€ť as he did on CBS Friday, is not winning over independent female voters. At this point, the Romney people probably would prefer that Nugent stick to promoting his new line of hunting ammunition.
Which, come to think of it, may be just what heâ€™s doing.
Anyway, back to Fridayâ€™s appearance. Nugent told CBS interviewer Jeff Glor that his visit on April 19 with the Secret Service was â€śadorable.â€ť
The agents were professional and calm, he said. He said he told them he appreciated their service â€śeven though you are responding to complete idiots who you probably should be investigating.â€ť
See, doesnâ€™t that imply Nugent believes thereâ€™s a criminal conspiracy at the top levels of the US? Of course, he has pretty much said that directly, so we shouldnâ€™t be surprised.
â€śThey asked me if I ever threatened anyone, and I said never, couldnâ€™t, wouldnâ€™t,â€ť said Nugent on CBS Friday. â€śI wouldnâ€™t waste a breath threatening.â€ť
(Is that last sentence innocuous ... or slightly ominous? Hmmm.)
Nugent said the Romney folks had contacted him after this uproar started, and offered their support. â€śFreedom of speech is a beautiful thing,â€ť he said they said.
Asked by CBS about this, the Romney campaign reissued a statement that â€śdivisive language is offensive and inappropriate, no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from.â€ť
But the best part of Fridayâ€™s appearance came when he launched a tirade about how nobody is â€śmore moderateâ€ť than he is because he takes more seriously ill children on fishing trips than anyone.
Then Nugent swerved a bit. â€śIâ€™m an extremely loving, passionate man," he said, "and people who investigate me honestly without the baggage of political correctness ascertain the conclusion that Iâ€™m a [expletive] nice guy!â€ť
After the interview, Nugent was rushed to the hospital to have a kidney stone removed. Perhaps he was in a dyspeptic mood due to discomfort. Perhaps he just talks like that all the time.