Sorry for the delay…An emergency (the brake lights were out on my car) kept me from the office Friday and unable to post this political part to my John Rich interview. But, without further delay…
Barak Obama has half of Hollywood and now John McCain can claim John Rich. Hours after crowning mother of five Melissa Lawson the next Nashville Star, John Rich, one-half of the duo Big & Rich, hit a stage in Nashville to film the music video for “Raisin’ McCain,’ a song he told OK! he wrote in 30 minutes as ‘a rally battle cry song for McCain that says what a tough man he is and what a great Patriot he is and all these things that are so great things about him.” John said the video, performed in Nashville in front of a crowd of true McCain supporters, “will feature a cross-section of America to really represent the red, white and blue.” John admits, “I don’t think I have in a million years the influence to convince people to vote for anybody, that’s not my point here. My point is to get people to learn about John McCain, go learn about Barak Obama, go read what they’re for, what they’re against and their life stories,” but adds, “When it’s all said and done I think you’ve got a guy in John McCain who’s got the experience that’s unparalleled in the United States. Obama is one of the most charismatic people in the world, but he’s just a freshman senator and I think it’s the wrong time for him to be president of the United States of America.”
Now that he’s part of the McCain media train himself we asked him what he thought about McCain’s controversial video featuring Paris Hilton and he said, “I think it was accurate. To me Barak Obama comes off as more into the hype of everything than into the substance of it and I think it took a shocking image like that to really make people start talking about that fact.”
What’s the Raising McCain video going to be like?
I’m really excited about it because it’s a high energy song, country and rock & roll all rolled into one and what we’re shooting tonight is the performance piece where I’m up on the stage and playing it for a big crowd of people and everyone in the crowd is actually a John McCain supporter because I put the word out and I said I need a crowd to shoot this video, if you’re a John McCain supporter, come on down. I think it’s going to be a cross-section of all kinds of people.
There are going to be cameo pieces of all different kinds of Americans mouthing to the words. I’m sure we’ll have a Vietnam veteran on a Harley and a cross-section of Americans to really represent the red, white & blue.
Did you sit down to try to write a campaign song for John McCain or did it just come to you?
You don’t accidentally write a song called ‘Raisin’ McCain.” I wanted to write a song for McCain because I’m so passionate about his run for presidency and being a songwriter that’s what I do, I write songs and I didn’t hear any songs out there about McCain or for McCain and I thought he needed that rally song and that battle cry song that said what a tough man he is and what a great Patriot and all these things that are so great things about him that really fire me up as an America, so I wanted to write a song that mirrored those feelings.
How did you get the song to McCain?
I sent it to his daughter Meaghan McCain, who’s like 23-year-years-old and asked her what she thought and she flipped out, said it was awesome and forwarded it on to everybody else.
Did you know Meaghan prior to this?
No. I met Meaghan once in Nashville when John McCain had a town hall meeting in Nashville and she came up to me when they were about to leave, told me she liked my music a lot and we exchanged email addresses.
How long did it take you to write the song?
It took about 30 minutes. I knew exactly what I wanted to sing and the words just came slammin’ out, then there was the music and boom, boom, boom. I took it into the studio about five days later and recorded it and put it up on johnrich.com for free download and you can make it a ring tone now. In the first four days there were 15,000 downloads of the song. By the convention we should have over 100,000.
Had you met John previously?
I met John McCain the first time in San Antonio at a hospital called The Center for the Intrepid, the largest privately funded center for the rehabilitation of soldiers in the world and I made my way up to him and my friend Georgette Mosbacher who owns Borghese Cosmetics introduced me to him and I said, “Senator, I’m John Rich with Big and Rich and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘Like I don’t know who you are.’ I asked him if he was a Country music fan and he said, ‘I’m a big time County music fan.’ That was our first meeting, over a year ago.
Why do you think people should ‘get on the train’ for McCain to be president?
I don’t think I have in a million years the influence to convince people to vote for anybody, that’s not my point here. My point is to get people to learn about John McCain, go learn about Barak Obama, go read what they’re for, what they’re against and their life stories. When it’s all said and done I think you’ve got a guy in John McCain who’s got the experience that’s unparalleled in the United States. This is a guy who was physically tortured in Vietnam and had his bones broken and had to reset his own bones. If you ever see him behind the podium you can see that his arms are really stiff, like he couldn’t raise them if he wanted to, that’s because when they broke his arms in Vietnam and threw him in solitary confinement he had to reset his own bones and never had a doctor touch him. His bones grew back like. This guy experiences the pain of that every single day, he’s served our country every single day for 30 years in the senate. This is the kind of experience that I personally want to see at the guy behind the wheel. I think Barak Obama, with all his attributes, it’s kind of hard to get over that he’s a freshman senator. It’s a clear cut decision for me and for a lot of young Americans regardless of what you read in the media. There are millions of young people who are going to vote for McCain.
What do you think about Obama?
I think he’s one of the most charismatic men in the world, without a doubt. But, I don’t think charisma gives you everything you need to run the United States of American, especially the way the world is now and I think you can watch the decisions he’s making back and forth and changing his mind and it makes sense because he doesn’t have much experience, he’s just a freshman senator and I think it’s just the wrong time for him to be president.
Now that you’re part of Team McCain media, what do you think about McCain’s ad with Britney and Paris?
I think it was accurate. To me Barak Obama comes off more into the hype of everything than into the substance of it and I think it took a shocking image like that to really make people start talking about that fact. They could have picked other celebrities if they wanted but they’re not exactly a bunch of dummies over in the McCain headquarter. These are some smart people so they wanted to make a statement and they wanted to shock people a little bit and get their attention. I think when you speak to over 200,000 Germans overseas like you’re already the president of the United States I think that’s a pretty presumptuous attitude and I think there’s a pretty good argument that it’s pretty arrogant as well and I think that commercial highlighted all that and I don’t disagree with it at all.