Right-wing rocker Ted Nugent is changing his tune.
As well known for his inflammatory comments as he is for his fiery guitar playing, Nugent was so shaken up by Wednesday’s attack on the GOP congressional baseball team in Alexandria, Virginia, that he is vowing to tone down his own often violent rhetoric.
“I will avoid anything that can be interpreted as condoning or referencing violence,” he told hosts Curtis Sliwa and Eboni K. Williams on their WABC Radio show a day later.
“At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me that I cannot use that harsh rhetoric.”
Nugent, while admitting that he had crossed a line in the past with verbal attacks on Barack Obama, once suggesting the then-president could “suck on my machine gun,” says he has come to realize the country has reached a “critical mass.”
The Trump supporter added that he is still “feisty” and won’t back down from his conservative values, particularly for “strong, secure borders.” But he stressed that even though his way of speaking comes from growing up a “street fighter” in Detroit, he never actually meant to imply violence with his words. (Even the ones suggesting decapitating Hillary Clinton.)
“When I made those wild-ass comments, on stage, about then-Senator Hillary Clinton and then-senator Barack Obama, I don’t know if you can grasp the degree of adrenalin and intensity and sheer over-the-top animal spirit and attitude that I live on stage,” he said.
Nugent’s vow to turn over a new leaf comes at an extremely polarized time in American politics. The shooter who critically injured Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was identified as James Hodgkinson, a progressive with deep-seated hate towards the Trump administration.
Here is audio of the Nugent interview.
— 77 WABC Radio (@77WABCradio) June 15, 2017
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