'Motor City Wild Man' talks guns, blasts hippies
CNN NEWS Crossfire Transcript
(CNN) -- Ted Nugent has made waves with his music and views on gun control. Now, he is pushing his new cookbook "Kill It and Grill It". Why does he indict the hippie culture for the September 11 terror attacks? Why is he opposed to gun control? Hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson step into the "Crossfire" with Nugent.
CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. Ted Nugent burst into American consciousness in the 1970s with a blazing guitar and a wild act that earned him the name "the motor city wild man." Hits like "Cat Scratch Fever," "Wango Tango," and "Storm Trooping" may not be music to your ears, but Ted Nugent strikes a chord with countless Americans. That's because like many sensible people, he's an avid sportsman, hunter, and outspoken opponent of silly gun control laws.
And if you want to put your money where his mouth is, consider his new book, "Kill It and Grill It," a fantastic book. It features recipes for delicacies such as venison roast, sweet and sour antelope, and wild sheep shanks. Please welcome Ted Nugent to the CROSSFIRE stage.
BEGALA: Take a seat. We've got a little meat here for you. Mr. Nugent?
TED NUGENT: Yes, sir?
BEGALA: First, congratulations on the book.
NUGENT: Is that cute or what?
BEGALA: It is outstanding. It really is. But let me -- I got a bone to pick with you.
NUGENT: I got a bone to clean with you.
BEGALA: All right, here we go. You start. The only thing I don't like about this book...
BEGALA: Massive suck up to some guy named Sean Hannity. Now let me show you a couple picks up on the big screen.
NUGENT: Well, you know, he's a cute guy. He needs some grits.
BEGALA: Cute guy. He had never shot off anything bigger than his mouth. Let me show you some pictures here of a real hunter. That's me and my brother Dave and a deer we shot down in Tony Sanchez' ranch, my buddy down in Texas. There we go.
NUGENT: You're a real American, damn it.
BEGALA: And we also -- I'm a big bird...
NUGENT: How about you, Tucker? where's you (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
BEGALA: Bird hunters?
CARLSON: I was shooting this weekend, Ted.
NUGENT: Good work, I love a man who kills his own dinner.
BEGALA: And you know what? I don't -- this is South Dakota pheasant hunting, as you well know.
NUGENT: But I'm on a crusade, I'm going to take Sean, and I'm going to take Tucker, and I'm going to take everybody in America. And I'm going to teach them how to get the ultimate pure sustenance and be a steward of these precious resources. Stick with me.
BEGALA: I'm totally for it. I've got some venison sausage from deer that I have killed myself for you, straight out of the cookbook. But here's my quarrel.
NUGENT: Yes, what do you got going?
BEGALA: Is that I didn't need an AK-47 to bring down that big buck.
NUGENT: Yes, well, good for you.
BEGALA: And I didn't need an Uzi to shoot those pheasants. We have sensible gun laws in this country. And they harm law abiding citizens like you and I, do they?
NUGENT: What the hell does that have to do with anything?
BEGALA: We need a Brady bill, right? I mean, there's some people out there who think if you're for gun control, you're anti-hunting, you're anti-guns.
NUGENT: You know, Paul, with all due respect, this is good venison, by the way. Good work.
BEGALA: Isn't that good?
NUGENT: I'll have you handle my carcass when I go.
BEGALA: I would be thrilled to.
NUGENT: What kind of idiot, with all due respect, would attempt to equate firearms utilized for sporting purposes and firearms used for other purposes? Our founding fathers had no question whatsoever that we had the right to get food. So they didn't even include that in the documents. Certainly they were concerned about self-defense. And I know a bunch of guys in South Central Los Angeles that if it were not for semi-automatic weapons, which are exactly like these semi-automatic uzis and AK's that you're talking about, their establishments would have been burned down. And they could have been killed.
But they needed weapons more than just a three-shot deer rifle to protect their neighborhoods. So I'm in support of the common sense that sometimes firepower is needed for certain specific duties. And deer hunting and defense of property and self have no relationship whatsoever. Your turn.
CARLSON: That's a tough -- I have to say I'm not sure I can ask a question. I would agree with all of that. And I would say I'm a better shot than Paul.
BEGALA: So you think, no, you think teenagers should have access to these AK-47s, so they can slaughter each other on the street?
NUGENT: Well first of all, there are no AK-47s available.
BEGALA: Because we passed a law.
NUGENT: Fully automatic weapons have been banned since 1934.
BEGALA: That's gun control. And I'm for it, so are you, right?
NUGENT: And there are over 2.5 million lawfully owned fully automatic machine guns in private citizens' hands in this. Good venison.
BEGALA: Oh, God, now you're going to be choking on it. It is pretty spicy. We make it in south Texas.
CARLSON: Yes, while you choke to death, let me ask you a question. That's exactly right. I'll lay off the demagoguery, unlike Paul. But let me just...
NUGENT: You got to cut it smaller. I got to get you a knife, here.
CARLSON: Now I want to read you a quote from the NRA Convention last month. This was...
NUGENT: Which I was proud to be a part of. I'm on the board of directors.
CARLSON: Amen and good for you. It's a marvelous organization. But here's your quote. This was quoted in "The San Francisco Chronicle." This is your take on September 11. September 11 "was the culmination of a hippy mindset, that you shouldn't resist when confronted by evil. Give peace a chance is a laugh. The only way to peace is to eliminate those who would challenge peace." Now I agree with the second part, mostly, but the first part, September 11 was a culmination of a hippy mindset you shouldn't resist evil. The U.S. has resisted evil pretty vigorously, wouldn't you say?
NUGENT: No. We've had a policy in this country. In fact, under the Clinton administration, it's been documented that we know where Osama was on numerous occasions. And we know the documented threats to destroy America, to destroy American's lives. And we did nothing. And you're talking about Jimmy Carter, who embarrassed America by allowing a bunch of hippy college kids to take American citizens hostage for over two years. And he did nothing.
I'm just a guitar player, and I could have fixed that. These are the kinds of give peace a chance nonsense that I believe has sent a message around the globe that, yes, you can mess with America because we'll tolerate your evil. We'll tolerate your crime. And I think it's time to stand up and say we won't be tolerant to evil or dangerous conditions. And those that perpetrate them should be neutralized and eliminated.
CARLSON: But at the same time, don't you think that the very same politicians you're talking about who tolerate this sort of thing, are the same ones who have total loathing and contempt for you and people like you, people who bring knives onto sets and eat venison sausage. People who own guns. People like -- no, no, but culturally, you have nothing in common. And they have contempt for you. Why is that?
NUGENT: Because I turned down their dope. And I turned down their stupid trends. And the hippies always hated me, because they were preaching peace and love and I was loading a .44 magnum. All the people criticized me for being a gun lover, they're all dead. They puked and died. That's not a party where I come from. A party where I come from is a family having venison...
BEGALA: Geez, I've choked him. Amen, but not choking on it. You got to admit.
NUGENT: All right, let me actually, take a minute to drink and I'm going to read...
CARLSON: This is beef.
BEGALA: Oh, no, certainly not. A quote out of your book though, where you talk about habitat, which is really important. This is conservation.
BEGALA: Primary Habitat for Wildlife, right? "Even the TV personality, Steve Irwin, you write in the book, the crocodile hunter has said that Habitat destruction is the most important issue facing his home country of Australia as well as America in the world. Those who walk on the wild side know this truth." Wouldn't you be more comfortable sleeping at night, knowing you had Democrats running things, who protect habitat. George W. Bush, who is a hunter, has allowed corporate America to pave over all this habitat, mining in our national parks, logging in our national forests, decapitating mountains.
NUGENT: You and me, pal, we're going to work together to save swamps. All right?
BEGALA: All right, they're important habitat. You have to explain to these workers...
NUGENT: There's a common ground.
BEGALA: Robber barons is why we need habitat.
NUGENT: But you know, the organizations that have saved millions of acres, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, these are a cross-section of America...
NUGENT: ...from every imaginable social stratum. So I think it's a common ground that we need to reach out. And everybody who wants to save wild ground, it's not about hunting opportunities. It's about the source of our air, soil, and water quality. So I think anybody who truly cherishes the American dream and quality, air, soil and water quality, should become a hunter, a fisherman and a trapper and put hands on value to these precious renewable resources, that will determine the productivity of our quality...
BEGALA: Hasn't Bush let you and me and our fellow hunters down with his...?
NUGENT: Bush is my quail hunting buddy.
BEGALA: Yes, right. Until the habitat gets ruined. His private reserve is okay, but for the rest of us who are just walking around folk.
CARLSON: Look, you're, I can see, having trouble since eating something that Paul made.
NUGENT: Yes, it's great. I love it.
CARLSON: And I want to get right down to it.
NUGENT: Have you had this tested?
CARLSON: I haven't. But you know what? You will amazed to know, Ted, that in Paul's book -- Paul has a new book called "Buck Up, Suck Up," there are also recipes. I've read Paul's book. I've read your book. I want to put on the screen just for illustrative purposes here. These are some recipes from Paul's book. Paul Begala's Boys' French Toast. Mom's Friday's Chicken Salad.
And your recipes from your book from Kill It and Grill It. Here they are. Wild boar chops, big game meat cakes. Now I'm wondering, I mean, doesn't that just kind of say it all?
NUGENT: Well, Paul is a Grateful Dead fan. So we won't hold that against him.
BEGALA: Actually, I'm not. I'm a country music fan. But I don't...
NUGENT: That's even worse.
NUGENT: Those boys have got to learn how to play guitar.
BEGALA: Oh, right.
CARLSON: Let me confront you.
NUGENT: You know, I played country and western once. I broke this hand, all week, country and western.
BEGALA: Who's got contempt for middle America, the man who's attacking country music. God's own music.
NUGENT: Those are my blood -- country and western guys only dislike me because I can outshoot them.
CARLSON: Well, speaking -- look, on your website, you have a part, I was reading it today, where you recommend taking your four- year-old deer hunting. I've got kids. I hunt. And I intend to take them. But four-years old, that's kind of young to see a deer, you know, field dressed, gutted and field dressed. Don't you think that's kind of traumatic?
NUGENT: Well, you make that decision for your children. But every year, I go to Texas, and Mississippi and Louisiana, where there's been a long tradition of young children, as young as four, going out with their fathers and mothers, having a quality experience. And there's never been an accident. You've never seen a report of four or five or six-year old. My daughter, Sasha, shot her first buck when she was seven-years old. And we called her Lee Harvey Nugent because she was such a good shot. Can I say that?
BEGALA: I wish you hadn't.
NUGENT: But she's a great marksman. And the discipline that goes into that marksmanship is never too young to teach a child discipline, I think.
CARLSON: And she wasn't traumatized by seeing the animal dressed?
NUGENT: Traumatized? She gutted that bugger, man. She loved it. No, she knows that's where food comes from. And it's the purest food known to man. And she appreciates that. So she takes that deep into her heart.
BEGALA: Well, so, let me switch back now to this question we just dodged over just a minute ago, which is on control. So the Brady bill, for example, we agreed that we should outlaw machine guns?
NUGENT: I think we should outlaw Brady.
BEGALA: The Brady bill, for example, just a few weeks ago, stopped a man who's an alleged member of the Hamas terrorist group from a gun in Oregon. Has it ever stopped you?
NUGENT: It's amazing. You know, Paul, I've been a sworn sheriff's deputy in the state of Michigan for 23 years. Yet the FBI's instant check is so inept, and so counterproductive, that I've been stopped from buying a gun for the last three years, buying my children Christmas presents. I had to wait an extra week because their records were incomplete.
BEGALA: You got to wait week for a refrigerator. I mean, I'm just I'm a gun owner.
NUGENT: Well, first of all, but I don't believe that statistic. I don't believe that statistic when you can go into their home countries and buy bazookas and land mines, I don't think he's going to come to America to buy a 30 ott (ph) 6. I think the whole premise of the Brady Bill, I've talked to law enforcement. I'm very proud to work with many of these great men and women of law enforcement. And the...
BEGALA: Who strongly supported the Brady Bill.
NUGENT: No, they did not.
BEGALA: Absolutely they did.
NUGENT: The administration.
BEGALA: Why they endorsed President Clinton.
NUGENT: The appointees probably supported it, but the real rank and file warriors of the street never supported Brady. The overwhelming population of law enforcement was against Brady because they saw it was counterproductive and an infringement on our second amendment rights.
BEGALA: Well, I disagree with that, but I agree with...
CARLSON: Ladies and gentleman, Ted Nugent.
BEGALA: I agree with you coming on the show.
NUGENT: My pleasure. Get a real buck.
BEGALA: Yes, I show you some real deer in south Texas, brother. Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, Ted Nugent, the motor city madman.