Rep. Jim Langevin doesn’t seem to be bothered by gun-loving ‘70s rocker Ted Nugent’s bizarre diatribe against him following the State of the Union address.
In an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday, he said he refuses “to let Ted Nugent distract from the real message” of gun control and awareness. “Ted Nugent was an odd choice to bring as a guest to the State of the Union, after comments he made alluding to the fact that he would bring harm in some way to the President of the United States… Simple as that,” said the Democratic congressman from Rhode Island.
The musician/NRA board member said the congressman “probably has s**t for brains” after Langevin dared to question his invite to Tuesday’s speech as a guest of Texas Republican Congressman Steve Stockman.
When asked about his comments by NBC’s Luke Russert after the SOTU, Nugent railed against Langevin for “claiming that somehow I didn’t feel sorry for victims of violent crime.” He stood by his comment, saying, “That would take genuine fecal material instead of brain matter to actually continue such a vicious hateful lie. I think it qualifies.”
In addition to his State of the Union invite, Nugent earned a Secret Service investigation after threatening remarks he made towards the president in April 2012. At a convention for the National Rifle Association in St. Louis, Nugent declared, “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” He also told the gun enthusiasts that “our government is wiping its ass with the Constitution” and denounced the “criminal” Obama’s “vile, evil, America-hating administration.” Nugent endorsed Mitt Romney, suffice to say.
Langevin, who became paralyzed at the age of 16 due to a shooting accident while studying as a police cadet, initiated the movement among lawmakers to invite victims of gun violence to attend the event. “It puts a human face on a real important issue,” Langevin said.
“I was proud to organize a group of my colleagues, each of us gave up our one State of the Union guest ticket that we each received to someone who has been a victim of gun violence or who has lost someone to gun violence, who’s had their life shattered by gun violence,” he said on The Last Word.
Democratic lawmakers held a press conference on Tuesday alongside their State of the Union guests. Langevin’s guest was Jim Tyrell, whose sister was murdered in 2004 during a convenience store robbery in their home state of Rhode Island. The gunman has never been found.