On Monday night (Nov. 5), Kid Rock once again voiced his support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at one final rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, before Tuesday’s general election. Although the Detroit native has backed Romney since February, the singer-songwriter tells Billboard that his politics do not necessarily abide by party lines.
“It’s no secret that I lean right in my politics,” says the 41-year-old. “I’m supporting Mitt Romney, but as much as I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, let gay people get married if they want… That’s not the fucking issue. And I think a woman should have a right to choose if she wants to have an abortion or not — that’s not up to anybody else.
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“But at the same time, there’s much more important issues going on,” he continues. “I don’t preach politics while I’m on sta ge, even when I’m at the rallies for Romney. I let those guys do that. I’m just there to show support for a process that a lot of people have died for, to protect. And you got to stand for something.”
Rock has stayed active on the campaign trail this year, introducing Romney and running mate Paul Ryan at multiple events after first publicly endorsing the GOP candidate at a Michigan rally last February. On Monday night, he performed “Born Free,” the title track of his 2010 album, in New Hampshire before Romney took the stage.
However, Rock also makes it clear that, if President Barack Obama wins a second term, he’ll earn the rock veteran’s backing as well. Rock has already reached across the aisle for “Americans,” a new short film created with actor and outspoken liberal Sean Penn, which leaked online last month.
“If people vote the other way, then I’ll support our president, whoever’s elected,” Rock says. The real danger, according to the singer, is legislative gridlock. “More importantly, somebody’s just gotta smack the fuck out of Congress and get them to start working together, and put this bullshit aside and get this country back on track.”
Like “Born Free,” “Rebel Soul,” Rock’s ninth studio album set for a Nov. 19 release, contains some political undertones amidst the joyous Americana and dazzling guitar riffs. First single “Let’s Ride” is a military anthem that laments U.S. soldiers being “bruised and abused on some foreign soil,” while on “3 CATT Boogie” he sings, “Banks hedging’ bets for the next generation/And Wall Street’s stirring up the whole situation.”
For the veteran rocker, however, “Rebel Soul” is more “truthful” than overtly right-wing, especially within the lyrics that reference the armed forces. “If I ran those lyrics by the military, they wouldn’t use them for anything,” he says. “You run them by the kids that are out there in the fight, and they’ll nod their heads and say, ‘Yeah, that’s right.’ And that’s what I did. Guys that work for me have done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan — special ops guys that have been involved with all my travels over there. My thing’s always been to keep it to what I believe is the truth, and what other people believe through first-hand experience through running it by them.”