Tribune Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — Ted Nugent, the rocker-turned-gun rights activist who was the subject of a Secret Service investigation last year after controversial remarks about President Obama, will attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address as the guest of a conservative congressman from Texas.
The invitation from Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, announced Monday, comes as some Democratic lawmakers invite people who have been affected by gun violence to attend the presidential address.
Stockman, in a statement announcing the invitation, said he was “excited to have a patriot” like Nugent join him in the House chamber, and that afterward he’s sure “Ted will have plenty to say.”
It was Nugent’s remarks at the National Rifle Association convention in 2012 that sparked a Secret Service investigation. Nugent, who endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said that if Obama were to win re-election he “will either be dead or in jail” and called on conservatives to “ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off.”
The Secret Service, the agency charged with protecting the president, met with Nugent soon afterward. Nugent later called it a “good, solid, professional meeting” and said the agency concluded “that I have never made any threats of violence towards anyone.”
Stockman, who served a single term in the mid-1990s before returning to Congress this year, has already attracted attention as an outspoken critic of Obama. He announced Friday that he would live-tweet the president’s speech using the hashtag ” youlie,” borrowing the infamous outburst of South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson during Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress on health care in September 2009.
Stockman also said he would consider filing articles of impeachment against the president in response to executive orders Obama issued as part of his administration’s response to gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Earlier Monday, the White House said that first lady Michelle Obama would sit with Americans from middle-class families whose lives the president believes would be improved by his policy proposals. Among those guests will be the parents of Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago teenager who was killed in a shooting just days after participating in events in Washington celebrating Obama’s inauguration.
Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who was shot at a constituent event in January 2011 and is now leading a public campaign in support of stricter gun laws, will also attend.