Republican West Virginia Senate candidate John Raese came to Ted Nugent's defense at a campaign event, calling the rocker a "patriot" and saying that "it's a concern" that the Secret Service investigated after Nugent's inflammatory speech threatening President Barack Obama.
Nugent, said Raese, according to video of the candidate's recent speech, argued that Nugent's words were merely "a figure of speech."
It was an unusually specific figure of speech, if that was the case. At the National Rifle Association convention, Nugent told fellow gun enthusiasts that "if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”
"Government can’t control the economy without controlling the people, can it?" Raese asked during his talk, delivered over the weekend to the Harrison County Republican Party. "And that’s what’s going on in this administration. How many of you remember Ted Nugent? I do. Ted Nugent came to West Virginia to help me in 2010. He came along with Sarah Palin and we had a wonderful event."
Raese went on to compare Nugent's comment to a football coach using a figure of speech, adding that investigating Nugent is a means of "controlling the people."
If West Virginia basketball coach "Bob Huggins came in and told you that we are in a vicious game against Penn State and we’re gonna go right on that court and we’re gonna kill 'em, would the FBI want to investigate Bob Huggins? I don’t think so. That’s called a figure of speech. Controlling the people -- remember that -- controlling the people. Ted Nugent is a patriot. Ted Nugent is somebody that is firm in this country and when you see scenarios that break down like that scenario, it’s a concern, isn’t it? It’s a concern."
Raese is running against incumbent Senate Democrat Joe Manchin, who famously won his seat thanks in part to a commercial in which he literally shot a hole in a Democratic cap and trade bill.
Below, a look at some of Raese's past statements from 2010:
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