Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) defended Ted Nugent on CNN Thursday morning, telling host Soledad O’Brien he doesn't believe Nugent has any ill will toward President Barack Obama, despite controversial remarks the rocker made this past week about the president.
“I think he was just expressing maybe his opinion about something, and of course everyone wants to sensationalize things, but let's leave it up to the Secret Service to interview him and get to the bottom of it. But I don’t think the Motor City Madman has any ill will toward the president of the United States of America,” West said.
During an interview at the National Rifle Association conference over the weekend, Nugent stated that “if Obama becomes the next president again, I will either be dead or in jail this time next year." He compared Obama and his administration to "coyotes" that needed to be shot and encouraging voters to "chop [Democrats'] heads off in November."
In her interview with West, O'Brien expressed concern at the seemingly violent intent of Nugent's remarks. “I think he has a lot of ill will toward [Obama], but I think that’s a separate question on whether or not he’s threatening violence, that’s kind of night and day,” O’Brien said. “No, I don’t think he likes him at all.”
But West attempted to put Nugent's comments into a different context.
"Well, there’s a lot of people who didn’t like President George W. Bush, and we didn’t have to cart them in front of the Secret Service, so let’s just let the people who are responsible for investigating take care of it,” he said.
Nugent's remarks drew the attention of the United States Secret Service, who are investigating his comments and have requested an interview with him this week to discuss the matter. Nugent has stated that he is looking forward to the upcoming meeting.