MALZBERG: And welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Fasten your seat belts, all right. We’ve got a great show lined up. I’m Steve Malzberg, filling in for Joe Scarborough, who is at home with his family, and his brand-new baby daughter. Congratulations again.
Our first guest joins us from his home in Michigan, where he has one day of rest from his current tour with ZZ Top, and will be performing with KISS and Aerosmith this Friday, in Detroit. Boy, how do I get tickets?
Ted Nugent, welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN AND ACTIVIST: I feel welcome, and congratulations to Joe and his wife and family.
MALZBERG: Absolutely. I’m sure he appreciates that.This is your first time anywhere, Ted, talking about Arnold. So let’s get right to it. Obviously, you think he-he has a chance. Why?
NUGENT: Well, first of all, I salute Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is celebrating we the people. He understands, I think, more than anybody coming from a foreign land, to this great American dream, that this is an experiment in self-government. So, I wish him Godspeed in exercising himself.
But I’m waiting to hear the details of his policies. I think he has conducted himself as an asset to his family and his community. And I think, therefore, that shines a positive light on what he can do to repair the California problems.
MALZBERG: Well, you know, when I think of Ted Nugent, I think of a big-time conservative. And it’s such a wonderful thing for people like me to be able to look to someone up there on the stage like you and know that he thinks-thinks like I do, and like many others do.
But you know, pundits and columnist across the country, you know citing Rush Limbaugh’s quote, that Arnold is no conservative. And here’s what he said: “Here me now, and believe me later my friends: all these conservative orgasms over Arnold Schwarzenegger are fake. I know that ® next to Schwarzenegger’s name excites the White House, but his own words prove he’s not a conservative.”
Now, we had Wilson on-Governor Wilson yesterday, on this show. He failed to reveal what some of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s true beliefs and policies are. Does that disturb you?
NUGENT: Well, that doesn’t disturb me, because it’s early in the game right now. This recall is kind of a cluster, as they say in the military. But all I would recommend is that like everybody in the nation has to do right now, during this cultural war; and Arnold, if he wants to repair the horrible liberal ills of California, is to study that California state constitution, and identify the role of government because the California government has gone way beyond the American dream.
The policies of giving to people who don’t deserve anything and-and literally rewarding criminality as our immigration system just goes the way of the Dodo bird. Arnold’s got a-a hell of a chore ahead of him, but I think he’s got a start with the California State Constitution. And if a policy rings true to those guidelines, then it should go forward. If it’s not articulated in the State Constitution, get it out of here.
MALZBERG: Well-you know, two candidates that are more likely to think like-like you and-and to go by the guidelines that you just laid down, Ted, are State Senator McClintock as-as one, and Bill Simon, who ran for governor against Gray Davis, and lost by 300,000 votes. Why not put your support behind one of them?
NUGENT: Well, I haven’t thrown my support behind anybody yet, because I’m still examining the details of their policies. But what I am doing is I’m trying to shout from the mountaintop. And during my tour, I meet with elected officials. I meet with farmers and ranchers and cops and librarians and teachers and welders and mechanics. And I get a pulse of this great nation: that being the best that you can be is still the driving force for working hard, playing hard America.
So, my recommendation, in fact, the human cry across this land, is to get back in touch with we the people, particularly the productive, hard-working people who fuel this American dream. Those are the people that should be guiding policy making in California. And that has not been the case.
Take for example, the mountain lion in California. They’re wasting tax dollars now, as the lion is in the liability column. When it was the legally hunted game animal, it was in the asset column. Now, they’re having damage control 10 times the cost after the lion mauls and kills and destroys people.
MALZBERG: Well, that’s...
NUGENT: This is the kind of policy making that is just-it’s really is insane.
MALZBERG: It is.
NUGENT: Arnold’s got a lot of those kinds of policies that he’s got to address.
MALZBERG: Now, as I said, we had former Governor Pete Wilson on the show last night. And he’s advising Arnold’s campaign now. And he shed a little light on Arnold’s positions. Arnold is definitely a fiscal conservative, of course; a strong support-strong support for fiscal discipline, strong support for business development. He voted for Prop 187, which curbed welfare programs for illegal aliens. But he may have changed his position on that issue. The governor wouldn’t say. And his free market philosophy is largely shaped by Milton Friedman.
But conservatives will take the issue with Arnold’s liberal views on abortion, gay rights, environmentalism and gun control. And I-I know that last one won’t sit well with you or-or a lot of other voters in rural California.
NUGENT: Well, the gun control issue, I think, is the tip of the spear. I just came back from Illinois. Where the laws, like California and in Massachusetts and in certainly a number of states with liberal control, is that retired heroes of law enforcement are not trusted to carry a gun, after they have served we the people all their lives, and put their lives on the line. I think the gun control laws in California have to be examined, so that good people are not disarmed.
And I think Arnold-once again, he’s got to articulate those specifics. I would look at his gun control, his fiscal-policies. And certainly, he’s done great things for kids in this state.
But that’s not the role of government. That should be private enterprise. And there should be an incentive. Those in the private sector should be encouraged to have programs for children. And have some type of tax break, if they help clean up the streets of that state. But that’s not the role of government. So, we’ve to-to be careful how Arnold applies some of his humanitarian efforts, and whether that’s the job of the government, or is the job of the citizens in the communities.
MALZBERG: And earlier today, Jesse Ventura gave this advice to Arnold. Let’s listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSE VENTURA, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I-I see in the strength of-of Arnold, as a politician, is his strength in life. And that is that he’s very focused, very highly motivated. And he-he is one person who, when he sets a goal or task in front of him, he is a great achiever. He will achieve or-or do his very best to be successful in whatever that is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALZBERG: Ted, the voters of California elected Gray Davis, because of his qualifications, supposedly. But he turned the state into a disaster. Why should voters take a chance on somebody without any political experience?
NUGENT: Well, I think the observations by Jesse Ventura are very accurate. Once again, Arnold knows the American dream is about being the best that you can be. Gray Davis rewarded people for doing far less than the best that they can be.
I think: if Arnold can come out, and truly articulate what he has done with his American dream, really putting his heart and soul into a work ethic for positive energy, and positive forces. If he can translate that to the California government, and get legislation that will remedy the ills of that state, I think he’s got a good chance. But once again, he has not laid his cards on the table. So until he does, I’m still holding back my support.
MALZBERG: Now, how important to you is it that Arnold supports Prop. 187 as he did in 1994, and pledges not to sign into law any kind of cockamamie legislation passed by the state Senate already, that would give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens? Does he have to come through on both of those issues for you to support him?
NUGENT: That is cockamamie, if ever there was anything cockamamie. Can you imagine rewarding the absolute disaster of the immigration policies in that state? And that is what that law would accomplish. Yes, he would have to come to the table for common sense and the self-evident truth, that you don’t give driver’s licenses to known criminals that are sucking blood from the system, which is why there are $38 billion in debt. You know, I am just a guitar player and I figured that out all by myself.
MALZBERG: I’ll tell you what, here’s what Arnold had to say about how the campaign itself will go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHWARZENEGGER: We all know that Gray Davis can run a dirty campaign. Better than anyone. But he doesn’t know how to run a state. We know that, too. So, therefore-so we are going to confront those issues as they come along and get through to the people and let them know there’s a great vision I have for California.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALZBERG: Now, you’re an entertainer. If someone delved into your past and your-you know, your life, I don’t know, maybe they’d come up with some things you wouldn’t want people to know about. Arnold will have to deal with all of this is Gray Davis is past is any indication. Do you think he will be able to survive that?
NUGENT: I don’t think that will play a major role. Once again, if Arnold articulates government policy based on being the best that he can be as did he in his private life.
You know it’s really a logistical quagmire, managing a career the dimension of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s almost like he’s this mobile state unto himself. Those logistics when I am on tour, I have a military operation out there. That doesn’t necessarily qualify me to run the government certainly. But Arnold is putting his heart and soul into this. But so are some of the other candidates.
So I am reserving my support for those who articulate the state Constitution, United States Constitution, and hard-core remedies that are going to demand sacrifice from the voters of California.
Remember, we need to look at the people of California before we look at Gray Davis and before we look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. The apathy in this nation is absolutely unforgivable. And California is the worst. I just did a great concert up in Reading, California, and their hearts are broken at the disconnect between the productive members of society and what, to quote a great book by the title of “Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats.” And if I am hurting someone’s feelings, maybe there’s a little guilt, the bloodsuckers in that state are out of control. They should not be rewarded but be encouraged to become productive...
MALZBERG: Ted, I’ve got one question...
NUGENT: I think Arnold might be able to that.
MALZBERG: I’ve got one question, yes or no. Would you consider politics at some point down the road?
NUGENT: Well, I have been prodded in the state of Michigan here. There has been scary polls lately. And I am an active we the people citizen and I am doing a concert this Friday at Comerica Park. We happen to have T-shirts being made, “Nugent For Governor, Let’s Kick Ass In ’06.” Who knows?
MALZBERG: I will take this as an exclusive and a yes. Thank you Ted Nugent, it’s been a pleasure.
NUGENT: Who knows? Thank you.