At this point in his career, Detroit rocker Ted Nugent is known for a two things besides such trademark hits as “Cat Scratch Fever”: shooting animals and saying potentially actionable things about President Obama.
The Motor City Madman was at it again last week, when he said of the Obama administration, “We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November,” while attending the National Rifle Association’s annual gathering in St. Louis. He added that he would be “dead or in jail” next year if Obama was re-elected, which appears to be the quip that earned him the attention of the President’s security detail.
According to Reuters, Nugent, 63, said on Wednesday that the U.S. Secret Service had requested a meeting with him following the criticism of Obama. During an appearance on Glenn Beck’s radio show on Wednesday, Nugent told the conservative talker, “We actually have heard from the Secret Service, and they have a duty, and I salute them. I support them and I’m looking forward to our meeting tomorrow.”
Nugent, a avid gun rights enthusiast and conservative supporter, is set to perform in Ardmore, Oklahoma, on Thursday (April 19) night. When asked to confirm the meeting, a Secret Service spokesperson declined to comment. In a statement released later, spokesman Brian Leary said, “We are aware of the incident with Ted Nugent, and we are conducting appropriate follow-up … We recognize an individual’s right to freedom of speech but we also have a responsibility to determine and investigate intent.”
The Secret Service is tasked with protecting the president and investigating any threats or perceived threats to his safety. In a presidential election year when Obama is expected to face a tough challenge from presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the Democratic National Committee was quick to jump on the controversy and use it in a fundraising email sent out on Monday. DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said of Nugent’s comments that, “Threatening violence — or whatever it is that Nugent’s threatening — is clearly beyond the pale.”
Nugent, who has previous referred to the Obama administration as, “Vile, evil, America-hating,” brushed off those allegations during his sit-down with Beck, denying that he was calling for violence against the Commander-in-Chief. “Every reference I made, whether it’s a shot across the bow or targeting the enemy, it always ended the sentence with ‘in November at the voter booth,'” said the rocker, who has endorsed Romney.
Less than 24 hours before, Nugent appeared on another conservative talk radio show and doubled-down on his comments, describing himself as, “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 also referred to Wasserman Schultz as a, “Brain-dead, soulless idiot.”