Ted Nugent, a right-wing rock musician and outspoken advocate for gun owners' rights, has drawn the attention of the Secret Service after he said he will "either be dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Barack Obama is re-elected in the November election.
The former Damn Yankees guitarist has often insulted the U.S. and Democratic Party leader and made his latest comments at a National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis on Saturday. He also called on his fellow Republican voters to channel "Braveheart" and "ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November."
"If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year," he said. "Being at the NRA event, God bless ya, good indicator. But if you can't go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don't even know what you're made out of."
A Secret Service spokesperson told the Associated Press that the group is "aware of" Nugent's comments and is looking into them.
Nugent endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney in March. He said at the NRA convention: "Your goal should be to get a couple of thousand people per person who's here to vote for Mitt Romney in November."
"If you can't galvanize and promote and recruit people to vote for Mitt Romney, we're done. We'll be a suburb of Indonesia next year," Nugent said, referring to the Asian country where Obama spent part of his childhood. "Our president and attorney-general, our vice president, Hillary Clinton, they're criminals."
Nugent's comments spurred a backlash on Twitter and other social networks as well as a petition by the Democratic National Committee, which called on Romney to denounce the musician's "hateful speech." A spokesperson for the Republican candidate told the Reuters news wire: "Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from. Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil."
The White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, was asked about Nugent's comments at a briefing on Tuesday, April 17.
"I think the President has said, and I and others have said, that we can't be policing the statements of supporters across the board," he told reporters. "The President is focused on the issues. The President is focused on doing everything he can specifically with regards to helping the economy grow and helping the economy create jobs."
Nugent once called the Obama a "clueless, rookie president" in a scathing op-ed published in The Washington Times in 2010 after a Supreme Court 5-4 ruling that had extended the Second Amendment to states and cities and ahead of the Fourth of July holiday to celebrate the U.S.'s independence.
He also called the president "the most deceitful lying dishonest smoke and mirrors punk the world has ever known," in a Twitter message on Jan. 24, 2012.