This morning's Politico Playbook reports that the National Rifle Association will again be featuring sometime rocker, Washington Times columnist, and NRA board member Ted Nugent in their voter registration campaign.
In his 2010 spot for the group, the Nuge alternatively wielded an AR-variant rifle and a guitar and proclaimed himself “cocked, locked, and ready to rock, doc” before urging viewers to go to an NRA website to register to vote.
In recent years, Nugent has drawn far more attention for his vicious and extreme rhetoric than he has for his music. This is apparently of concern to his publicist, who last year rejected an email interview with Media Matters after receiving our questions, several of which focused on those questionable comments.
The NRA, however, appears to have no problem associating with someone who called Barack Obama a “piece of shit” and Hillary Clinton a “two-bit whore,” referred to the Muslim community as “rude and stupid,” said "[i]f it was up to me, if you uttered the word 'gun control,' we'd put you in jail," and uses homophobic language. (Nor have those comments kept Nugent off of Fox News.)
Below, with assistance from our archive and that of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence's MeetTheNRA.org, Media Matters presents Nugent's top 10 most inflammatory, offensive, and extreme comments.
10. After The Tucson Shooting, “Conservatives Should Turn Up The Rhetoric.” In the wake of last year's tragic mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that left six dead and 19 injured, including horrific injuries to then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), many condemned the sort of hateful, insurrectionist rhetoric that spurs on episodes of anti-government violence.
Nugent, on the other hand, used his Washington Times column to state that while “liberals and others who should know better are calling for political rhetoric to be toned down,” he believes that “conservatives should turn up the rhetoric.” He added that "[o]nly softheaded, feel-good fantasizers from the cult of denial could believe that toning down the political rhetoric will somehow keep lunatics from doing loony things." He went on to urge his readers to "[e]xpose, isolate and eliminate liberals and their fuzzy-headed policies" and to “do America a favor and crush liberalism.”
9. Democratic Party Is A “Modern-Day Slave Master” To “Poor, Unemployed.” In a June 18, 2011, Washington Times column, Nugent said that the Democratic Party is the “modern-day slave master” to low-income Americans, writing that Democrats “convinc[e] them that evil, greedy Republicans are the reason they are poor, unemployed and underemployed” and that “many are obviously too clueless to see which political party is their modern-day slave master and which one wants to liberate them.”
8. Responded To NBA's Fining Kobe Bryant For Using Gay Slur With Homophobic Rant. In an April 19, 2011, Washington Times column headlined “NBA's gay gag order,” Nugent criticized the NBA for fining Kobe Bryant for using a gay slur, writing that “Bryant committed this egregious verbal foul because he used a word demeaning to homosexuals, the most protected class of people in America” and that "[t]hose among us who work tirelessly to shut down (and shout down, if the need arises) speech they disagree with must also be absolutely gay with pride and satisfaction over this fine." Nugent further wrote that "[i]f the NBA had any true gay convictions, the NBA should host a Homosexual Night" during which “homosexuals could come down on the court, hold hands and prance around the court to music by the Village People. The NBA could then give each homosexual a pink basketball as a symbol of solidarity.”
7. The Confederate Flag. Nugent has repeatedly drawn controversy for wearing shirts emblazoned with the Confederate battle standard. During a 2000 performance in South Carolina, in the midst of that state's debate over whether the Confederate flag should be removed from the top of the State House dome, Nugent reportedly wore such a shirt and told the audience, "[t]hose politically correct (profane name) can take the flag down, but I am going to wear it forever." In 2007, he wore a Confederate flag T-shirt during a performance at Gov. Rick Perry's (R-TX) inaugural ball, triggering condemnation from the state chapter of the NAACP. Asked during a 2011 interview why he was wearing such a shirt, he replied "[b]ecause somebody gave it to me in South Carolina and it's cool."
6. Watching Police Pepper-Spray Protesters Is “Good For My Conservative Soul.” In his December 14, 2011, Washington Times column titled “Occupy stooges on parade: It's fun watching Democrats getting hauled off to jail,” Nugent wrote about the “hearty laugh[s]” he had after “watching the cops pounce on and pepper-spray a few Occupy stooges and then drag the dirtballs off to jail in shackles.” Nugent went on to say that this was “good for my conservative soul and gold for my sense of humor.”
5. Anyone Who Says “Gun Control” Should Be Jailed. Reuters reported that during his May 1, 2011, speech before the NRA's national meeting, Nugent said "[i]f it was up to me, if you uttered the word 'gun control,' we'd put you in jail."
4. Hillary Clinton Is A “Toxic Cunt” And “Two-Bit Whore For Fidel Castro.” In a 1994 interview with Denver, Colorado music magazine Westwood, Nugent said of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton: “You probably can't use the term `toxic cunt' in your magazine, but that's what she is. Her very existence insults the spirit of individualism in this country. This bitch is nothing but a two-bit whore for Fidel Castro.”
3. “How Can We Offend Guys That Actually Have Anal Sex?” During a 2000 interview on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes (via Nexis), Nugent defended anti-gay comments by then-Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, saying “I got to tell you, guys that have sex with each others' anals cavities - how can we offend guys that have anal sex? Don't you think that might offend some of us who think that's despicable?”
2. Muslim Community Is “Rude And Stupid,” “If Islam Is A Religion Of Peace, Then I'm A Malnourished, Tofu-Eating Anti-Hunter.” In his August 19, 2010, Washington Times column, Nugent wrote that “the Muslim community is being tremendously rude and stupid for wanting to build a mosque so close to Ground Zero in New York City.” He also wrote that “If Islam is the religion of peace, then I'm a malnourished, tofu-eating anti-hunter,” adding that “Islam is no more a peaceful religion than Jim Jones was a Christian prophet.” He did acknowledge that "[n]ot all Muslims are religious whacks who deserve a bullet," but stated that “the statistics are alarming.”
1. Obama Is “A Piece Of Shit” Who Should “Suck On My Machine Gun.” During an August 21, 2007, concert, while brandishing what appeared to be two assault rifles, Nugent said, “hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk,” adding, “hey Obama, he's a piece of shit, I told him to suck on my machine gun.” He went on to say that while he was in New York, “I said, 'hey Hillary [Clinton], you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch.” He also said that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) “might want to suck on my machine gun,” adding of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), “ride one of these you worthless whore.”