Twenty-year-old Daniel Cowart of Tennessee and 18-year-old Paul Schlesselman of Arkansas spoke only to give their pleas Thursday morning in a Memphis courtroom.
They face federal charges of threatening a presidential candidate, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, planning to rob a gun dealer and taking firearms across state lines.
The seven-count indictment says the men hatched the plot for the killing spree sometime between Sept. 1 and Oct. 22. Court records indicate their scheme fell apart quickly.
Their arrests were made public Oct. 27 and they are being held without bond.
, Schlesselman lists his occupation as "being racist" and writes "I'm white. I'm proud. I get angry. I like guns. I like weapons. I need money wiggers…be afraid," reports CBS News investigative producer Pia Malbran. "Wiggers" is a derogatory slang term used to describe a white person who emulates stereotypical mannerisms of African-Americans. He also posted a homemade video on MySpace in which he appears to be mocking "wiggers" and African-Americans.
On Cowart's MySpace page, Malbran reports, there are a series of photos showing guns displayed in different positions titled "my guns." In one photo, Cowart (left) is holding a large rifle while wearing a sleeveless shirt. A swastika tattoo, typically associated with white supremacists, can be seen on his right arm.
In another picture, he displays what appears to be an iron-cross symbol, often associated with racist skinheads, tattooed on his left chest. A message on his MySpace pages says: "Better to die quick fighting on your feet then to live forever begging on your knees." That's an ironic message from a white supremacist, given that a variation of that quote is often attributed to Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.