Video of the Day: Ted Nugent's Strange Flip-Out

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The washed-up rocker responds to questions about his inflammatory remarks in April by delivering his best Charlie Sheen impression.

You may recall that a few weeks ago Ted Nugent made headlines for saying, "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will be either be dead or in jail by this time next year." (He also discussed chopping off Democrats' heads.)

His rather intemperate comments, made at an NRA convention, brought forth a tepid condemnation from the campaign of Mitt Romney, who the washed-up rocker has endorsed, and a visit from the Secret Service, which sought to ascertain whether Nugent was in fact a threat to the president (and, apparently, to provide fodder for lots of jokes about Colombian debauchery). Agents apparently decided Nugent was just spouting off stupidly but harmlessly, although the U.S. Army did cancel a concert for servicemembers at Fort Knox.

Now CBS has scored his first post-Secret Service TV interview, and it's a doozy. Reporter Jeff Glor asked him how his meeting went, and whether agents seemed worried that he really meant to threaten the president. "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 said.

What about the Romney campaign? Nugent said they "expressed support" and didn't ask him to tone his rhetoric down. "I got the sensation -- and not from Mitt himself or Mrs. Romney -- 'Stay on course, Ted. Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing.'" That's a long way from a condemnation. The Romney campaign responded to CBS' question about it by reissuing their original statement: "Divisive language is offensive no matter what side of the political aisle it comes from. Mitt Romney believes everyone needs to be civil."

But the highlight came when Glor said Nugent was anything but moderate -- setting off an incoherent tirade in which he attempted to refute the charge that he was immoderate by calling himself "extreme," snapping at Glor, and directing a string of profanities at a producer off-camera. To stick the Charlie Sheen-esque finish, he added this: "I'm a perfect human being. 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."

Why would anyone think a guy like this might do something unstable?

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David A. Graham

David Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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