Ted Nugent's Outrageous Remarks at the NRA Conference: What the Videos Don't Show

Apr 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm
While reporting our current feature on the 2012 NRA Conference, I happened to be walking past right when Ted Nugent made these remarks:

As you've probably heard, the Secret Service has arranged a meeting today with The Nuge in order to do "appropriate follow-up," but Nugent ain't concerned.

"The Secret Service are my buddies," he  told St. Louis-based conservative firebrand radio host Dana Loesch on Tuesday, adding that he trains with them and helps conduct federal marshal raids down in Texas. "So when you say 'Secret Service' all I can do is get a big grin on my face and realize that we'll either be shooting some taxpayer ammo at targets, or we'll be eating barbecue."

Nugent is an incendiary guy. His rhetorical skills far outshine those of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. And he was on Saturday at the NRA convention to fire up the base, which he absolutely did -- maybe a little too much.

We couldn't find it anywhere online (the NRA has removed the Nugent interview both from YouTube and its own website), but at the very end of the segment, Nugent took a question from a bearded gentleman who said:
I joined the NRA many years ago realizing that I desperately want to keep this fight in the political arena. But do you realize the power that you have? That if you say the word, there will be very many of us behind you, in a heartbeat?
I was watching this guy's face. His expression was as serious as a heart attack.

"Boy, do I," Nugent responded. "On all fronts. Let me give you a little insight here: Keep your eyes peeled because I may need you soon. I'll leave it at that."

Of course, he then began to hype his charity work, so who knows what the interlocutor took away from such an ominously-coded exchange.

But the crowd loved Nuge. When he got up to leave, they all whooped and cheered for him, holding aloft their cell phones to snap a pic of Uncle Ted.

Again, his main goal was to convince wary members of NRA's rank-and-file to stop wasting time and rally behind Mitt Romney. But it might've been a Pyrrhic victory.  I think Jake Wagman said it best, writing on the Post-Dispatch's political blog today:

This time, [Nugent's] comments seems to have backfired. Nugent may have been trying to generate enthusiasm for Romney, but it seems that what he really accomplished is putting Romney in an awkward situation while providing fodder to critics. (MSNBC had the clip practically on a loop Wednesday.)