Ted Nugent is back! Does Mitt Romney wish he'd zip it?

Ted Nugent returned to the limelight Friday, insisting on a CBS show that he's a moderate, Romney-backing, 'nice guy' who takes children with serious illnesses on fishing trips. Somehow, though, his demeanor probably isn't reassuring to independent women voters.

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    In this May 2011 file photo, musician and gun rights advocate Ted Nugent addresses a seminar at the National Rifle Association's 140th convention in Pittsburgh.
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Ted Nugent is back, and he’s still talking like that, if you know what we mean. On a “CBS This Morning” appearance Friday, the "Motor City Madman" took umbrage at the suggestion that he isn’t a moderate, yelled that he is “a perfect human being ... who stumbles perfectly,” and bemoaned the fact that “political correctness has somehow metastasized into the decisionmakers of the military.”

We also think he called for a Secret Service investigation into top White House officials. But we’re not entirely sure.

OK, let’s back up a second, shall we? A few weeks ago, Nugent was in trouble for calling top Obama officials “criminals” and for saying that if President Obama wins reelection “I will either be dead or in jail this time next year.”

This resulted in a visit from the Secret Service. It’s illegal to threaten the life of the US president, and, as we’ve written before, the agency devotes considerable resources to following up public comments that could be construed as calling for presidential harm. Call it the first line of defense.

Mitt Romney got dragged into this, as some Democrats called on him to denounce a guy they called a “Romney surrogate.” Yes, Nugent publicly endorsed Mr. Romney earlier this year. But “surrogate”? This is a guy who once labeled an album “Tooth, Fang, and Claw.” We’re pretty sure he’s not interested in representing anyone’s opinions but his own.

This doesn’t mean he’s not causing Romney problems. A guy who wears camouflage everything and calls liberals “brain dead,” as he did on CBS Friday, is not winning over independent female voters. At this point, the Romney people probably would prefer that Nugent stick to promoting his new line of hunting ammunition.

Which, come to think of it, may be just what he’s doing.

Anyway, back to Friday’s appearance. Nugent told CBS interviewer Jeff Glor that his visit on April 19 with the Secret Service was “adorable.”

The agents were professional and calm, he said. He said he told them he appreciated their service “even though you are responding to complete idiots who you probably should be investigating.”

See, doesn’t that imply Nugent believes there’s a criminal conspiracy at the top levels of the US? Of course, he has pretty much said that directly, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

“They asked me if I ever threatened anyone, and I said never, couldn’t, wouldn’t,” said Nugent on CBS Friday. “I wouldn’t waste a breath threatening.”

(Is that last sentence innocuous ... or slightly ominous? Hmmm.)

Nugent said the Romney folks had contacted him after this uproar started, and offered their support. “Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing,” he said they said.

Asked by CBS about this, the Romney campaign reissued a statement that “divisive language is offensive and inappropriate, no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from.”

Nugent also bemoaned the fact that the US Army had canceled his upcoming concert at Fort Knox, due to the controversy he’s lately engendered.

But the best part of Friday’s appearance came when he launched a tirade about how nobody is “more moderate” than he is because he takes more seriously ill children on fishing trips than anyone.

Then Nugent swerved a bit. “I’m an extremely loving, passionate man," he said, "and people who investigate me honestly without the baggage of political correctness ascertain the conclusion that I’m a [expletive] nice guy!”

After the interview, Nugent was rushed to the hospital to have a kidney stone removed. Perhaps he was in a dyspeptic mood due to discomfort. Perhaps he just talks like that all the time.


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