Romney and the Nugent: 'How cool is that?!"

Apr 19, 2012 at 7:08 pm
When Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen correctly pointed out last week that Ann Romney wasn’t exactly well qualified to be bolstering Mitt’s approval rating among women by speaking to the economic struggles they face, reaction from the Romney campaign was swift and the right-wing echo chamber went wild.

All because Rosen said Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her  life.” Had Rosen just added three words — outside the home — the faux controversy would never have erupted. But she didn’t, and Rosen got pounded. And not just by Republicans.

“I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly,” said Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager. “Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize.”

Both Barack and Michelle Obama chimed in as well, expressing their displeasure at Rosen’s comments. And she did  in fact apologize for what she said, but that didn’t stop the Romney campaign and what the media called Mitt’s “female surrogates” from seizing on the gaffe and using it as a way to deflect  criticism of the GOP’s assault on abortion rights and women’s health care by taking a lone consultant’s comments and transforming it into a war on rich stay-at-home moms.

"Democrats are scared of losing the vote of independent women in swing states

[and] are saving their vitriol for highly successful Republican women — people like, sadly, Mrs. Romney," said U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, a Wyoming Republican. "It’s tremendously inappropriate that the Democrats continue their politics of division that President Obama himself said he’d change."

Those damn divisive Democrats. They are so unlike the GOP. Especially Mitten and his “surrogates,” who only want to tone down the heated rhetoric so that we can have cool, calm, rational discussion of the many critical issues facing this country.

Which is exactly why it makes perfect sense for Romney to have sought the endorsement of a statesman like Detroit native Ted Nugent, aka the Motor City Madman.

In recent days the Romney camp has denied that it actually sought Nuge’s bullet-ridden seal of approval. But that claim has been out there uncontested for a while. On March 2 the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit media organization, released a story based on an interview with the Motor City Motormouth himself. In part, the report stated:

It was on a phone call with the candidate earlier today that Nugent gave his blessing. He talked to Romney by phone while he was at a sporting goods store in Michigan ‘celebrating the orgy of guns and ammos and bows and arrows and camouflage clothing and hunting and fishing and outdoor family supplies.’

Before endorsing him, Nugent demanded that Romney pledge there would be no new gun laws or restrictions on Second Amendment rights in his administration. Romney obliged. Nugent also warned Romney about the ‘out of control’ U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Like we said, that was more than six weeks ago.

Soon afterward, in a radio interview, Mitt was asked about getting the support. “Yeah,” said the candidate, “it has been fun getting to know him, Ted Nugent.”

Romney’s son Tad was even more effusive, announcing on Twitter:

“Ted Nugent endorsed my dad today. Ted Nugent? How cool is that?! He joins Kid Rock as great Detroit musicians on team Mitt!”

Yesterday, however, team Romney told NBC News they “never solicited” the Madman’s endorsement.

So why was Mitty calling the Nuge at a sporting goods store? Could be he was asking the Madman to pick  him up a pair of hip waders.

Or, it could be that Teddy boy is  telling the truth, and Mitt is trying to limit the damage from having such spectacularly bad judgment as to solicit Nugent’s support.

Why would we say that?

Well, for starters, Nugent was acting like Nugent, that is to say typically bombastic,  when he went on a rant at the National Rifle Association convention last weekend.

“Our president, attorney general, our vice president, Hillary Clinton

they’re criminals,” offered the Nuge, doing his part to elevate the level of political discourse. Then, showing why he might have done well pursuing a career in political science rather than rock ’n’ roll, he added:

“We are Braveheart.  We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November.”

On Tuesday, pulling a page from fellow rocker Tom Petty’s songbook, Nugie refused to back down, telling a St. Louis radio station:

“I’m a black Jew at a Nazi Klan rally and there are some power-abusing, corrupt monsters in our federal government that despise me because I have the audacity to speak the truth.”

Of course Mitt rightly reacted to all this by denouncing both the rocker’s statements and the Madman himself in the harshest terms  imaginable. Oh, wait, no, he didn’t. In fact, he said nothing at all about Nugent. Instead, his spokesman issued this tepid statement:

“Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from.”

Nugent, divisive?

Well, sticklers might point to the fact that his recent comments about the president just earned him a little sit down chat with the Secret Service. Not to mention that, in 2008, he called candidate Obama a “piece of shit” and invited the senator to “suck on my machine gun.”

Why would Romney hesitate to seek the endorsement of someone who say something that endearing? Likewise, with candidate Romney seeking to shore up flagging support among women, he must think that Nugent having called Hillary Clinton a “worthless bitch” when she was running for president can only be a potential vote-getter with the lady demographic.

Same thing on the family values front.

In a 1998 episode of VH1's Behind The Music, Nugent’s attraction to underage girls came to the fore. In one case, the parents of a 17-year-old Hawaiian girl signed over legal custody of the young cutie to Ted, an arrangement that, as one online commentator pointed out, ranked as No. 63 on Spin magazine’s list of the "100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock."

And in seeking  the votes of men, it  can’t hurt Romney to be closely tied to such a patriotic tough guy — a real-life Braveheart who wants to charge into battle and decapitate the enemy.

Except that, when his country asked Nugent to go into actual rather than metaphorical battle back in the Vietnam era, Nugent responded by shitting himself.  Literally.

The story is recounted in  a 1977 interview Nugent did with High Times magazine. Asked how  he avoided the draft, Nugent — who professes to abhor drug use — told the mag for pot tokers:

So I got my notice to be in the draft. Do you think I was gonna lay down my guitar and go play army? Give me a break! I was busy doin' it to it. I had a career, Jack! I ceased cleansing my body. No brushing teeth, no washing hair, no baths, no soap, no water. Thirty days of debris build. My hair was gettin' kinky, matted up. I just had chips, Pepsi, beer, syrup. Then a week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. Shit, piss the whole shot. My pants got crusted up. I was a walking, talking hunk of human shit.

Ted, you said it. We didn't. You are obviously a very self-aware individual, and undoubtedly are a steaming pile of asset to Team Mitt.

Keep up the good work!