Ted Nugent explodes at notion he's not a moderate

(CBS News) CHINA SPRINGS, Texas -- Rocker and controversial political activist Ted Nugent is known for his fiery remarks.

And he lived up to his reputation in an interview with "CBS This Morning," taking strong exception to an observation that he's not a moderate.

Nugent made headlines three weeks ago at a National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis when he said that, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. ... We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November. Any questions?"

When the speech went viral, some critics called the comments a threat against President Obama. A few days later, Secret Service agents paid Nugent a visit, which Nugent says went well.

Mitt Romney sought and got Nugent's endorsement - and Nugent says he heard from the Romney campaign after his NRA speech and that they "expressed support."

"I got the sensation and not from Mitt himself, or Mrs. Romney, 'Stay on course, Ted.' Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing," Nugent said.

Responding to some of Nugent's latest comments, the Romney campaign has publicly said that "divisive language is offensive and inappropriate, no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from. Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil."

When Glor observed that, "April was one of the more interesting months I think you've ever had," Nugent said, "Jeff, that's where you're wrong. It's always been like this."

"It has not always been like this," Glor countered.

"It's always been like this," Nugent said in a raised voice.

"You have gotten more boisterous," Glor said.

"No way!" Nugent replied. "You go back and look at these interviews, it has always been like this."

"Politically speaking, you are more of an activist now than you were in 1970,' Glor said.

"The political activism is being accelerated because the conditions demand accelerated activism, yes," Nugent conceded.

To see the Nugent outburst, click on the video below:

Nugent bristled at the suggestion that he isn't the kind of moderate Romney will likely need support from to win the general election.

"If you examine how I conduct myself," Nugent said, "I don't think a day goes by in my life for many, many years now that we don't do charity work for children. ... Call me when you sit down across from someone who has more families with dying little boys and girls who get a call to take them on their last fishing trip in life.

"Call me," Nugent continued in a raised, irritated voice, "when you meet someone who does that more than I do. Because that's really moderate. In fact, you know what that is? That's extreme. ... I'm an extremely loving, passionate man, and people who investigate me honestly, without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the conclusion that I'm a damned nice guy. ... And if you can find a screening process more powerful than that, I'll [expletive]. Or [expletive]. How's that sound?"

We have no idea where that unexpected outburst came from. The second part of it directed to a female CBS News producer who was off-camera.

Nugent's wife told him after the interview ended that Nugent owed an apology to the producer. And Nugent did. He also called Glor Thursday and said that, after the interview, he was rushed to the emergency room and had a kidney stone removed. So, that's what Nugent said may have contributed to his high level of energy.

Nugent said he wasn't surprised when the Secret Service contacted him. "In this environment, when you have the conditions in our government, no, I'm not surprised."

"They came in as professionals," he told Jeff Glor at his Texas ranch, "Good, solid, professional law enforcement representatives, some of the greatest warriors in law enforcement. Anyway, so we had a meeting and it was serious, dead serious, because I can actually be serious, and it was serious. ... I feel sorry for liberals who can be that brain dead as to take a clear statement of fear on my part and turn it into a threat against somebody else."

Nugent said he feels the agents weren't concerned that he had actually threatened the president - only that someone claimed he had. "In fact," Nugent continued, "I gotta tell you, and I don't mean to put any professionals on the spot, and I don't have the greatest hearing in the world, but I thought I heard something to the point of, 'I didn't think so."'

Nugent described the meeting as "adorable" and says he was "absolutely" happy with the way things went, and, "Nothing makes me happier than me."

"They did their job perfectly, I answered the questions perfectly," Nugent says.

Nugent did just have the dates from his just-begun Midwest Rock 'n' Roll Express cancelled by the U.S. Army - a group he considers the core of his support.

"These military guys are my blood brothers," Nugent said.

"So then, when I hear that political correctness has somehow metastasized into the decision makers of the military, I was really let down that political correctness has any role at all in the military."

Nugent asserted that he's a "perfect human being. I stumble perfectly. But I also aspire to and accomplish a perfect standing up and dusting off in that arena and continue on. At the end of every day and at the end of my life, I will be in the asset column. I will better mankind. I will better the environment. I will better America. I'm dedicated to it. I can't be stopped."

To see Glor's full report, click on the video in the player at the top of this story.

  • Jeff Glor

    Jeff Glor was named anchor of the Sunday edition of the "CBS Evening News" in January 2012 and Special Correspondent for "CBS This Morning" in November 2011.

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