Ted Nugent, a National Rifle Association board member and conservative columnist with a long record of virulent, inflammatory commentary, attended the February 12 State of the Union speech as a guest of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX).
Nugent's attendance received widespread media attention, largely due to his April 2012 statement that if President Obama were to be re-elected, he would “either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
Here are five moments from Nugent's State of the Union media tour:
Congressman Paralyzed By Gunfire Has “S**t For Brains.” Nugent's attendance drew criticism from Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), who was paralyzed in a gun accident as a teenager and had urged other members of Congress to invite those touched by gun violence to attend the State of the Union. At a press conference prior to the speech, Nugent reportedly responded:
“He probably has s**t for brains,” he said of Langevin.
“I couldn't be more proud of myself, what I stand for, and for this pompous ass to claim that he cares more about a family that lost a child than I do is a perfect example of the brain dead critics of Ted Nugent,” he said."
Those Attending The Speech Whose Lives Were Touched By Gun Violence Are “Pawns.” In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Nugent explained that he wanted to attend the speech to counter the influence of the survivors of gun violence and family members of victims who had been invited by other members of Congress:
“The State of the Union would be stacked with pawns, friends of [President Barack] Obama, a lot of props, to further the president's anti-gun agenda,” Nugent, who owns a ranch in Texas, said in an interview. “I'm a gun guy. I've never been without a gun.”
A “Bloodsucking Orgy” Is “Crippling America.” In an interview prior to the speech, Nugent reportedly said:
“I can't wait for a check. I don't get any sick days. I don't believe in sick days, so I take care of myself so I'm not sick because if I don't go to work, I don't get a paycheck. This is how most of America operates. We would be offended to be a recipient of this vulgar food stamp orgy or the Obama phones or any of the bloodsucking orgy that is crippling America today.”
He Appeared To Watch The Speech “In Various Stages Of Physical Agony.” Slate's David Weigel reported:
He spent the entire speech, 13 typed pages, in various stages of physical agony. At the emotional apex of the night, when the president counted off victims who “deserve a vote,” Nugent sat with his arms crossed.
Speech Reaction: “I'm Supposed To Keep My Pants On.” Asked by CBS News for his reaction to the State of the Union, Nugent responded, “My reaction? I'm not allowed to do that because I'm supposed to keep my pants on.”