While most of the nation was still figuring out exactly how to react to news that Ted Nugent -- the controversial entertainer who just last year got a visit from the Secret Service over a perceived threat to President Barack Obama -- would be in attendance at this year's State of the Union, Nugent previewed his mission for the evening.
Speaking with Mike Broomhead of KFYI on Monday, Nugent, who last April vowed to be "dead or in jail" within a year if Obama was reelected, characterized the president as an unabashed scam artist preparing his most elaborate scheme through a set of anti-gun violence measures.
"We know that the president will have the State of the Union stacked and jammed with props, children and victims of violent crime," Nugent said. "And my friends wanted me to attend to counter that the way that I do: with facts, statistics and common sense and logic and a celebration of self-evident truths. So I will be taking on the media orgy following the State of the Union Address."
Nugent went on to promise to "remain respectful to the office of the presidency and the event itself," but suggested that he wouldn't tone down his rhetoric.
While Nugent laughed off critics whom he said doubted his ability to form "cognitive thoughts," a number of members in the gun control community are predicting that the flame-throwing conservative's highly anticipated presence will be a public relations disaster for pro-gun advocates.
The decision by Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) to invite Nugent certainly draws a stark contrast. A number of family members of victims of a mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school will also be in attendance Tuesday night, as guests of members of Congress and first lady Michelle Obama.
Nugent has argued that there is no reason to look at guns as part of the problem in the wake of the massacre. Shortly after the mass shooting, he instead blamed the nation's "spiritual bankruptcy" and its "politically correct" mentality for allowing such atrocities to happen. He's since depicted gun control efforts as preliminary steps in a broader plan to confiscate firearms from law-abiding owners.
Ladd Everitt, spokesperson for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told told TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro that he saw inviting Nugent as a bad idea from Republicans.
"You're going to have a guy who recently threatened the life of the president opposite over 20 survivors from some of our nation’s most gruesome episodes of gun violence," he said. "It's heartless, and emblematic of just how radical the Republican Party has become on this issue."
Others have responded more cynically, appearing to take the development as an opportunity to jab Nugent over persistent claims that he dodged the Vietnam War draft by vomiting and defecating on himself before a military physical. Building on allegations resurfaced last month by Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider -- and later denied by Nugent -- HuffPost blogger Douglas Anthony Cooper has started a White House petition calling for Nugent to be drafted to fight on the front lines in Afghanistan.
Also on HuffPost:
'Dead Or In Jail'
"If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," Nugent <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/ted-nugent-romney-obama_n_1429698.html" target="_hplink">said</a> to NRA supporters in April 2012. "If you can't galvanize and promote and recruit people to vote for Mitt Romney, we're done." Nugent added: "We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November."
'I'd Like To Shoot 'Em Dead'
During an interview in 2008, Nugent had harsh words for undocumented immigrants. "In an unauthorized entry, armed like they are right now, invading our country, I'd like to shoot 'em dead," <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QjBdRHQnEYg" target="_hplink">Nugent</a> told Fox News' Sean Hannity.
'Black Jew At A Nazi-Klan Rally'
After sparking controversy with his anti-Obama screed that earned him a Secret Service investigation, Nugent doubled down on his remarks during an interview with radio host Dana Loesch. "I'm a black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/ted-nugent-obama-remarks_n_1432988.html" target="_hplink">he said</a>. "And there are some power-abusing, corrupt monsters in our federal government that despise me because I have the audacity to speak the truth."
Debbie Wasserman Schultz Is 'Brain-Dead'
"Wasserman Schultz is such a brain-dead, soulless idiot," Nugent <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/ted-nugent-obama-remarks_n_1432988.html" target="_hplink">told</a> Dana Loesch after the Florida congresswoman criticized his anti-Obama comments. "I could not be more proud that this soulless, heartless idiot feebly attempts to find fault with Ted Nugent, because I am on the right track and she just encourages me to stand stronger."
'Suck On My Machine Gun'
During a 2011 interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Nugent outlined his views on gun control. "Anybody that wants to disarm me can drop dead," <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SZCxArSFRcw" target="_hplink">Nugent said</a>. "Anybody that wants to make me unarmed and helpless, we're gonna literally create the proven places that where more innocents are killed called 'gun-free zones,' we're gonna beat you. We're gonna vote you out of office, or suck on my machine gun, you can take it whichever way you want."
While on stage at a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zYmFAwhmqaU" target="_hplink">2008 concert</a>, Nugent held up machine guns and shared his thoughts on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. "Hey, Obama," he said, guns in hand. "You might wanna suck on one of these, you punk." He continued, "Hillary, you might wanna ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch."
'Apartheid Isn't That Cut-And-Dry'
In 1990, Nugent caused a stir when he commented on racial segregation in South Africa to <em>Detroit Free Press</em> magazine. "Apartheid isn't that cut and dry," Nugent said. "All men are not created equal. The preponderance of South Africa is a different breed of man. I mean that with no disrespect. I say that with great respect. I love them because I'm one of them. They are still people of the earth, but they are different. They still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands ... These are different people. You give 'em toothpaste, they f---ing eat it ... I hope they don't become civilized. They're way ahead of the game."