Hard rocker Ted Nugent will be in attendance when President Barack Obama delivers his annual State of the Union address Tuesday night. The announcement that the “Cat Scratch Fever” singer will be in the House chamber may be surprising after his threatening comments about the president last year were inflammatory enough to attract the attention of the Secret Service.
The guitarist will attend as an invited guest of Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who ruffled feathers this year when he announced his intention to introduce articles of impeachment if Obama attempted to pass any gun control regulation.
Nugent was an outspoken advocate of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney when he declared, “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” He later denied the comment was a threat and categorized his conversation with the Secret Service as a “good, solid, professional meeting.”
Nugent announced he would take questions from the media after the president’s remarks; an event the New York Times speculated would turn the normally dignified event into a sideshow.
“I will be there with a deep, abiding respect for the office of the presidency,” he said. “I’m not here to represent any specific cause other than freedom and independence and ‘we the people.’ ”
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During a radio interview on Monday Nugent said the media underestimates him, not realizing he’s a “force to be reckoned with” and he’ll “dominate them.”
"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."
Stockman, who is back in Congress after a 16-year hiatus, is riding a wave of support for guns that has come since Obama announced his administration would try to make assault weapons illegal on the federal level in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“It is at the member of Congress or senator’s discretion who receives a ticket from their respective office,” said Shennell Antrobus, spokesman for the United States Capitol Police. “Invited ticketholders with proper photo identification will be allowed into the event.”
“I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House chamber to hear from President Obama,” Stockman told USA Today. “After the address, I’m sure Ted will have plenty to say.”