Ted Nugent is the man of a thousand gaffes and one hit.
The ’70s rock star, best known for his 1977 song Cat Scratch Fever, has made a reputation for himself as a conservative celebrity in recent years. A hard-rocking, gun-loving, right-winger, Nugent marked a huge change from the stereotypical musicians who backed the GOP; those of the country stars in cowboy hats variety. But while Republican candidates have benefited from having a celebrity endorser cool enough to have been sampled on Check Your Head, Nugent, who campaigned Tuesday with the presumptive Republican nominee for Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, is prone to making off-message, off-color comments, perhaps the most grotesque of which was his recent statement that Barack Obama is a “subhuman mongrel.” Here are eight other controversial remarks from Nugent:
SUCK MY MACHINE GUN
In a 2007 concert while on his “Love Grenade 2007 Shrapnel Tour,” Nugent proclaimed that then-Senator Barack Obama should “suck my machine gun.” But Nugent didn’t think much of Obama’s competition in the primary either, calling Hillary Clinton “a worthless bitch.”
The rock star thought the Iraq War was badly handled by the Bush administration—not because of issues with weapons of mass destruction or the Coalition Provisional Authority, though. Instead, Nugent bemoaned in a 2006 interview, “Our failure has been not to Nagasaki them.” There was a silver lining to the Iraq War for Nugent, who went to the country on a USO mission in 2004: “I visited Saddam Hussein's master war room. It was a glorious moment. It looked like something out of Star Wars. I saw his gold toilet. I shit in his bidet.”
ISLAM & TOFU
In a 2010 op-ed in the Washington Times, Nugent wrote, “If Islam is the religion of peace, then I’m a malnourished, tofu-eating anti-hunter.” He went on to say, “Islam is no more a peaceful religion than Jim Jones was a Christian prophet.” But don’t mistake him for being prejudiced. He did take pains to point out, “not all Muslims are religious whacks who deserve a bullet.”
WISH I WAS IN DIXIE
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling that Obamacare was mostly constitutional, Nugent took his outrage to the pages of the Washington Times. In a July 5 op-ed, the rock singer and guitarist wrote, “I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War.” Nugent mourned that as a result of Chief Justice Roberts’ “traitor vote,” our “Founding Fathers’ concept of limited government is dead.”
At the NRA’s 2012 convention in St. Louis, Nugent recommended that conservatives “ride onto that battlefield and chop [Democrats’] heads off in November,” adding that if Obama was re-elected, “I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” (It’s worth nothing that since Obama’s re-election in 2012, Nugent has yet to be imprisoned or killed.) He also made kinder, gentler remarks that Obama and other officials in his “vile, evil, America-hating administration” were “criminals.” In fact, his comments were so harsh that the Secret Service paid him a brief visit to thwart a possible assassination threat.
“BLACK JEW AT A NAZI KLAN RALLY”
After his remarks at the NRA convention, Nugent doubled down in an interview with conservative radio host Dana Loesch, saying he was being targeted like “a black Jew at a Nazi Klan rally.” In his opinion, he was being targeted because “there are some power-abusing, corrupt monsters in our federal government that despise me because I have the audacity to speak the truth." In the interview, Nugent went on to attack “the communist czars” that Barack Obama had appointed.
After Obama was re-elected in 2012, Nugent was understandably quite upset. (After all, he was facing death or imprisonment.) He went on an election night Twitter rampage where he wrote “Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters have a president to destroy America.” He also spouted to the Twitterverse, “what subhuman varmint believes others must pay for their obesity booze cellphones birthcontrol abortions & lives?”
TRAYVON MARTIN: GANGSTA WANNABE
In the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the murder of Trayvon Martin, Nugent defended Zimmerman and suggested that he should sue Martin’s family. In the rock star’s opinion, Martin was “a gangsta wannabe” with a thirst for blood. Nugent later expressed his deep sympathy for Zimmerman who he feared would be targeted by Eric Holder, who Nugent described as “the most corrupt and racist attorney general in the history of the nation.”