Sen. Frank Antenori has a message for what he calls the "food police'': Don't get between him and his red meat.
The Tucson Republican launched into a self-described "rant'' this past week on the Senate floor defending his right to life, liberty, happiness -- and the Egg McMuffin.
"I love Egg McMuffins,'' he said in his floor speech.
What set him off, Antenori said, was listening to a radio report one morning while waiting in the McDonalds drive-through about how some people -- he included the Obama administration -- were giving a hard time to Food Network star Paula Deen, pressuring the chef known for her recipes that do not skimp on the sugar and fat to promote more "heart healthy'' items.
"By the time I got to the poor girl at the drive-through, my blood pressure was going up,'' the senator told colleagues. Antenori said what he and other's eat is no one else's business.
"I spent 20 years fighting and getting shot at for this country,'' he said, including that right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
"So those of you that hate things, just hate them to yourself,'' Antenori said. Don't try to impose your hatred and despising of certain things that those of us like.''
And if there's any doubt about what Antenori likes, he made it clear.
"If I want to go out with my wife and buy a big 24-ounce chunk of charred mammal flesh and a baked potato smothered with butter and chives, I earned the right to do that,'' the senator continued. "So, please, stick to your own little issues and leave the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to those of us that like to defend it.''
Antenori said that philosophy extends beyond what he shoves in his mouth.
"If you don't like guns, don't buy a gun,'' he said. "If you don't like a big truck that fits two elk in the back and three tons of sand, don't buy a big truck, OK?''
Deen revealed earlier this month on the Today show that she has Type 2 diabetes which is kept in check with injected medications. But she also said she has no plans to change the types of food she cooks on her show.
Antenori said he is 5-foot 10-inches tall and weighs 215 pounds. But he said his cholesterol levels asre very low for a good reason.
"I walk out in the wilds, I go hunting, I seek more charred mammal meat,'' he told Capitol Media Services subsequent to his floor speech. Antenori described himself as one of many "red-blooded Americans that like red, bloody meat.''