Rocker Ted Nugent has reportedly earned himself the scrutiny of the Secret Service after saying over the weekend that he would be "dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Barack Obama is re-elected.
(Above, Nugent's responds in an interview with conservative radio show host Dana Loesch)
Nugent made the comments during an interview at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, comparing Obama and his administration to "coyotes" that needed to be shot and encouraging voters to "chop [Democrats'] heads off in November."
(Videos above, via Right Wing Watch)
The Secret Service is now aware of Nugent's remarks and is taking the appropriate action, Dan Amira of New York Magazine reports. It is customary for the Secret Service to investigate any threatening comments made against the president.
While vitriolic claims about "vile," "evil," "America-hating" Obama aren't new territory for Nugent, they have sparked backlash from various Democrats and Democratically-aligned groups, who are calling on Romney to distance himself from the entertainer.
"We don't expect moderation from Ted Nugent," said Michael Keegan, president of People For the American Way. "But we do expect a major presidential candidate like Mitt Romney to rebuke a prominent supporter for spewing hate-filled and violent rhetoric against the President of the United States."
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz also weighed in on the controversy.
"Romney surrogate Ted Nugent's comments about Pres. Obama are vile & beyond the pale -- and the Romney campaign should denounce them immediately," the Florida congresswoman tweeted.
UPDATE -- 2:40 p.m.:
The DNC followed up with an online petition encouraging people to tell Romney to denounce "Nugent's hateful speech." They also released a web video hammering Nugent's position as a "surrogate for Mitt Romney."
Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul has also weighed in the matter.
"Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from," she said, according to Talking Points Memo. "Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil."
UPDATE -- 4:45 p.m.:
Nugent gave an interview to conservative radio host Dana Loesch Tuesday, reportedly standing by his comments and calling them "100 percent positive," The New York Times reports.
Loesch also tweeted out some of Nugent's remarks from the broadcast:
UPDATE -- 7:30 p.m.:
"I'm a black Jew at a Nazi-Klan rally," the rock star complained to Loesch. "And there are some power-abusing, corrupt monsters in our federal government that despise me because I have the audacity to speak the truth."
Nugent continued: "I spoke at the NRA and will stand by my speech. It's 100 percent positive. It's about we the people taking back our American dream from the corrupt monsters in the federal government under this administration, the communist czars he has appointed."
Later in the radio interview, Nugent went after Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who condemned Nugent's remarks on Tuesday as she called on Romney to answer for the rocker's rhetoric with a DNC petition and web video.
"Wasserman Schultz is such a brain-dead, soulless idiot," Nugent told Loesch. "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."
Nugent also compared Wasserman Schultz and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to "varmints."
"Varmints are sometimes clever, but they're really easy to outmaneuver," Nugent said, before calling Pelosi a "sub-human scoundrel."
Nugent also weighed in on Mitt Romney's campaign's response to his remarks. Romney himself has not commented, but campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul deemed Nugent's words "offensive."
"I think Mitt Romney's already denounced my guitar playing because it's too sexy," Nugent said. "Mitt Romney knows what I'm saying is true. He puts it in the words for him, I put in the words for me."
Read the whole post on his response here.