Ohio-reared rock group The National issued a statement on their site this week after an Ohio ad posted on Youtube supporting U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney used portions of their music without permission.
"When we found out that allies of Mitt Romney used our music in a campaign ad without our permission we were irritated but not surprised," the band said in the statement. "It's actually a perfect illustration of his worldview. In every way, Mitt Romney thinks he can play by his own set of rules. His attitude isn't just about a band from Ohio and their songs -- it's about all kinds of workers in Ohio and across the country who make things the rest of the world buys."
Although it's believed the ad wasn't officially endorsed by Romney, it has since been removed. "'We Need Jobs' -- Ohio...' This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Matt Berninger and Bryce Dessner," reads a statement on the Youtube link. The group -- who performed at campaign stops in Iowa and Ohio this year for President Barack Obama -- quickly took to the Youtube video's comment section.
"Our music was used without our permission in this ad," Berninger wrote. "The song you're using was written about the same backward, con game policies Romney is proposing."
Berninger said students should look at the difference between Obama's "inclusive, pro-social, compassionate" policies and "the self-serving politics of the neo-conservative movement and Mitt Romney. Every single person involved in the creation of the music you're using is voting for President Obama."
"We apologize for offending 'The National' and their fans by using a cover/remix of the band's melody for 'Fake Empire,'" they wrote on its Facebook page (which has since been removed). "We were attempting to reinvigorate and unite the disgruntled fans wary of supporting the President as they did in 2008 with 'Signs of Hope and Change', with a new movement of people who Believe in real recovery and reform in supporting Mitt Romney."
The National's latest statement, however, pulled no punches towards both Romney and those who made the ad.
"Between Romney's time at Bain where he made millions even when companies failed and workers lost jobs, his opposition to the auto rescue, or his failure to stand up for equal pay for women, this is another item in a long list of severely conservative ideas that hurt the middle and working class.
"Did Romney's supporters read the title of the song before they used it? The song they used -- "Fake Empire" -- was written in response to the mess that was made the last time Republicans were in the White House. Mitt Romney wants to take us right back to those same failed ideas that caused the mess in the first place. Finally, the video also shows a pandering ignorance about the young people they were trying to reach with our music -- which shows that he and his allies just don't understand young people. If you missed the video, it shows people holding Romney signs saying 'I believe in America.' We believe in America too -- and not just some portion of it.'"
Meanwhile, Romney supporters would be wise to avoid Moby's website as well. The singer, who previously revealed his fear of Romney becoming President in a lengthy post, graded both candidates with short explanations in another post today explaining why he was voting for Obama.
"i don't want to employ hyberpole, rather i'm going to simply spell out why i think 4 more years of barack obama would be better than a mitt romney presidency," Moby wrote, grading each on four areas: the economy, the environment, social issues and foreign policy. The musician gave Obama a "B" for the economy while giving Romney a "C+" while saying Romney's economic plan was "reviled by most economists" and "focuses on old industries (coal, oil, etc.)," which would have a negative impact on the U.S.
As for the environment, Moby gave Obama a "B" saying it was "not amazing. but not disastrous." Romney was given a "D" for not mentioning "protecting the environment" nor "climate change." "His environment policies worry me," Moby said. But it was social issues where Moby gave Obama an "A" and Romney a "D-," stating Obama's record "has been stellar" while Romney "is beholden to the extreme right of the republican party" concerning gay marriage, women's rights and immigration. "His social policies represent the worst and most atavistic aspects of the republican party, and for that he gets a D-."
Finally, Moby said Obama deserved a "B" in foreign policy for doing "a fine job. not phenomenal, but solid and fine." Romney received another "D-" as Moby mentioned Romney's gaffe in London criticizing Olympic organizers there, which drew barbs from British Prime Minister David Cameron. "Mitt Romney has no foreign experience, and his words and actions indicate that his foreign policy is based on ignorance and arrogance, which is an incredibly dangerous combination in these challenging times."
After grading and giving a rating out of 100 for each category, Moby had Obama with 350 points or a "B+" grade while Romney had 267 points or a "D+."
With the election on Tuesday, some artists are doing last minute performances to help their candidate win the election. According to his site, on Monday Bruce Springsteen will make three separate campaign stops with Obama beginning in Madison, Wisconsin. From there Springsteen will travel to Columbus, Ohio and team up with Jay Z at another stop before flying to Chicago for a third stop that evening.
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