Rock musician and pro-gun activist Ted Nugent, who has called President Barack Obama an “evil, dangerous man who hates America,” will be in the U.S. House chamber for Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress.
Nugent will be the guest tonight of another gun-rights advocate, Representative Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican who has proposed legislation to overturn executive orders that Obama issued last month to tighten gun regulations. Stockman has said he will consider seeking the president’s impeachment if Congress doesn’t pass his bill.
“I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House chamber to hear from President Obama,” Stockman said in a statement on his website yesterday. “After the address, I’m sure Ted will have something to say.”
In a posting yesterday on Twitter.com, Nugent said: “well well well, there will be a freedom addicted all American uppity Motown guitar player facing the POTUS at the SOTU address tomorro-lovely.”
A native of Detroit, Nugent, 64, was referring in the Twitter posting to his hometown and used acronyms to denote the nation’s chief executive and the title of his annual message to Congress.
Stockman, 56, said his office “will be live-tweeting official responses” to Obama’s speech, “debunking myths and fact-checking the president in real time.”
Stockman, who also suggested reporters schedule interviews with Nugent, issued his invitation as 24 House Democrats led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California asked relatives of gun-violence victims to be their guests at the speech.
At a Capitol Hill news conference today, those relatives and others urged lawmakers to ban semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, and to expand background checks for all firearms purchases.
“You guys signed up for the job, do something,” said Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, whose 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya, was gunned down in a Chicago park just days after she performed with her high-school band at Obama’s inauguration.
Nugent has spoken frequently about his opposition to Obama and gun control, referring to the president as the “scammer in chief.” At the National Rifle Association’s annual convention last April in St. Louis, Nugent said if Obama were re-elected, “I will be either dead or in jail by this time next year.”
’Motor City Madman’
The comment prompted the Secret Service to interview the one-time lead guitarist for The Amboy Dukes band. At the time, the agency said it took no action against Nugent, who is nicknamed the “Motor City Madman.”
Stockman was elected to Congress in November. He also served one term in the House after winning a 1994 race in which he campaigned against a federal ban on assault weapons. In that race he beat longtime Representative Jack Brooks, a Democrat who as House Judiciary Committee chairman had helped advance the assault-weapon ban through Congress in 1994.
The law expired in 2004, and Obama is seeking to reinstate it, as well as expand background checks for gun purchasers.
Nugent told CNN’s Piers Morgan on Feb. 4 that “an armed society is a polite society.” He said there is a “dramatic reduction in violent crime” when “there are more citizens with more firepower, particularly on their person, loaded.”
Pelosi’s office late last week said one of her guests will be a fourth-grader from Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, spurring the gun-control push. Pelosi invited the girl, who attends another school in the area, after the student wrote a letter urging Congress to ban semi-automatic weapons. Pelosi didn’t identify the child.
Cowley-Pendleton, the mother of the girl killed in Chicago, and the teen’s father, Nathaniel Pendleton, will sit in the House chamber during Obama’s speech with first lady Michelle Obama, the White House announced. The first lady had attended Hadiya Pendleton’s funeral. Among the first lady’s other guests will be Kaitlin Roig, a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Patricia Llodra, the chief administrator for Newtown, Connecticut, was invited to hear Obama by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat. Attending at the behest of Connecticut’s other senator, Democrat Chris Murphy, will be two of the first responders at Sandy Hook: Newtown police detectives Jason Frank and Dan McAnaspie.