During remarks at the National Rifle Association annual meeting, NRA board member Ted Nugent shared an analogy that involved him shooting Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
Nugent, who is also a spokesperson for Outdoor Channel, referenced shooting Reid during an April 12 talk at the NRA's meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, at an event called, “Freedom is not Free and We the People Must Keep It Alive!”
The NRA's annual meeting also featured speeches by GOP presidential candidates and contenders including Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Perry and others.
Nugent's comment came during a question and answer session where an audience member asked, “How and why did the NRA ever endorse Harry Reid to serve as the front man of Osama Obama?”
The NRA never actually endorsed Reid, but in 2010 the gun group did donate $4,000 to his reelection efforts. Any goodwill between Reid and the NRA likely ended in 2013 with Reid's introduction of legislation to expand background checks on gun sales.
In response to the question, Nugent called Reid a “lying prick,” but described him as a necessary evil, stating, “If your child is dying and there is only one way to get to the doctor, would you get on Harry Reid's boat to get there? ... I'd get on the boat, get there, and then I'd shoot him.”
In audio obtained by Media Matters, Nugent then further described the NRA's strategy as infallible, stating, “if you see them endorse someone like Harry Reid it's because this deceptive bastard actually stood up for our Second Amendment rights contrary to the alternative candidate.” He added, “when the NRA makes a move that you're not sure about, please give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Nugent also used his remarks to promote a partnership between the NRA and credit card company Visa. NRA members can open a Visa credit card account where purchases made help pay for the NRA's “legislative action in support of ... Second Amendment rights.” Gun safety group Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has criticized this partnership with a petition, arguing, “That means that Visa is helping to pay for NRA lobbyists who advocate against common-sense policies like background checks on gun buyers.”
During his remarks, Nugent urged the crowd to open NRA Visa accounts, describing participation in the program as a way to “drive the enemy crazy” and in apparent reference to the Obama administration said if “you want to really kick them in the ass, get an NRA Visa card, where we have raised over $24 million dollars.” He continued, “I just found out about them. But I got one. Do you got one?”
Nugent also made other inflammatory remarks during his speech:
- He urged the audience to contact their elected officials to suggest Hillary Clinton should be put in jail.
- After an audience member made an apparent reference to sending Obama “back to Kenya,” Nugent said, “It would be a great boat ride, I'd actually pilot that one.”
- When asked about what to do if law enforcement comes to your house to take firearms, Nugent said that for now you should “pursue the legal process” and advised, “You don't need to start a firefight, yet.”