Ted Nugent, who has repeatedly encouraged violence against high-profile Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, is now promising he’ll tone down his inflammatory rhetoric – and he’s asking his “enemies on the left” to do the same.
In an interview with 77WABC Radio, Nugent said – with a straight face – that he is “100% against any harm to any human beings.”
Nugent said, “At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me I just can’t use those harsh terms. I cannot and will not and I encourage even my friends/enemies on the left, in the Democrat and liberal world, that we have got to be civil to each other.”
He added: “I will avoid anything that can be interpreted as condoning or referencing violence.”
Nugent’s change of heart comes after a gunman attacked a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday, prompting members of both parties to roll back their harsh rhetoric.
While it’s no surprise that members of both parties are joining together in condemning any rhetoric that may encourage politically-motivated violence, it’s particularly mindboggling to hear it coming from a man who is so well known for spewing such language.
Nugent, a diehard Donald Trump supporter, has been more famous for his violent rantings than anything else in recent years.
“Obama, he’s a piece of s—. I told him to suck on my machine gun,” Nugent said a decade ago. “Hey, Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless b—-.”
After Obama was elected, the has-been musician called him “vile” and referred to him as a “subhuman mongrel.” During the 2016 election, Nugent shared an altered video that showed Clinton being shot by Bernie Sanders.
His sudden change of heart probably isn’t because he has been moved by recent events, but instead is likely due to the fact that the victims – a group of Republican congressmen and aides – share the same political ideology as he does.
“I’m going to take a deep breath,” Nugent added toward the end of his interview. “I’m not going to engage in that rhetoric anymore.”
We’ll see how that pledge holds up the next time a Democrat is in the White House.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.