On Fox & Friends Sunday, NRA’s Ted Nugent says his previous rhetoric was a “metaphor”

Fox News co-hosts let National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent erroneously claim he has “never projected hate” following his promise to tone down the rhetoric after the June 14 shooting of Republican congressman during a congressional baseball practice. Nugent has a long track record of inflammatory statements, including calling for former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama to be “tried for treason & hung” after the 2012 Benghazi attacks, which he recently doubled down on. Fox & Friends Sunday co-hosts let Nugent chalk up his claim that Obama can “suck on my machine gun” to “a metaphor” and claimed, “nobody can possibly think I want anybody’s lips anywhere near my machine gun.” From the June 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday:

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TODD PIRO (CO-HOST): Alright, in the wake of last week's assassination attempt on Republican congressmen, many are now calling for a more civil political tone. 

PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): One person who's promising to do so is longtime conservative Ted Nugent. But will anybody on the left follow his lead? Here to discuss is the rock and roll legend, Ted Nugent. So Ted, your comments about wanting to tone down the political rhetoric are welcomed by many. But it comes -- I think it's the source that has people most interested in here. We're going to play a headline of something you said from times past that makes what you're saying now even more interesting. You once said that Obama should, quote, “suck on my machine gun.” Now, he wants to -- now the title is he wants to tone down the hateful rhetoric. This is the headline about you. There it is right there. So you once said that. Now you want to tone it down. I think that's an important recognition. What brought you to the point where you said, “Hey, it's just time to calm all this down?” 

TED NUGENT: Well, number one, happy Father’s Day every damn day across America, and I think the fact that my kids and my wife have consulted me and told me that I'd be more effective if I abandoned the motor city streets line. But let me make it perfectly clear. I have never projected hate. When I said that about sucking on my machine guns, that was a direct response to the liberal Democrats, Obama and Clinton et al, to ban certain types of firearms, violating their oath to the Constitution and the Second Amendment. That was a metaphor. And nobody's too stupid not to know that. But the left is so dishonest that they misrepresented that and make it perfectly clear with my Fox and friends, I have never threatened anybody. I have never hinted at violence during adrenaline-charged rock and roll performances. Detroit street slang comes out, but I have been admonished somewhat by Mrs. Nugent, and I just think in these heightened, exciting times politically, I am reaching out across the aisle, and I'm saying we must all unite to bring no violence, no harm to any of our fellow Americans. And I think it's important to note my not so good friend Bill Maher acknowledged that, and I will be joining him on his show to make sure that we clarify this and that we are going to unite on no violence.


ABBY HUNTSMAN (CO-HOST): Are we going to see a different Ted Nugent moving forward? And who is that Ted Nugent going to be? 

NUGENT: Well, not different. I like to use the word “upgrade.” My intensity will not back down one spit. My passion, and my sincerity will not back down one iota. But I am going to make sure that in a debate that I am civil, which I've always been civil. Again, during the outrage of a rock and roll performance, machine gun references have been made but nobody can possibly think I want anybody's lips anywhere near my machine gun. That was a metaphor. But I'm going to reach out and say civility should be the modus operandi of Americans, no matter which side of the aisle they're on.