McCain drops Mellencamp songs from campaign playlist after singer points out he’s a liberal

PHOENIX – It may be “Our Country,” but it’s John Mellencamp’s song.

When the liberal rocker found out his songs were being played at events for Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign, Mellencamp’s publicist sent a letter that questioned the campaign’s playlist.

“Are you sure you want to use his music to promote Senator McCain’s efforts?” according to the letter sent to McCain’s campaign on Monday. “Logic says that the facts might prove to be an embarrassment, were they to be circulated widely.”

McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers in Washington, D.C., said Thursday that the songs would no longer be played. He declined to elaborate.

The letter explained Mellencamp was a liberal who had supported Democrat John Edwards, who recently dropped out of the race.

Publicist Bob Merlis said Mellencamp told him that the situation made him uncomfortable and he couldn’t imagine McCain would want to be associated with him.

“You know, here’s a guy running around saying, ‘I’m a true conservative.'” Merlis told The Associated Press. “Well, if you’re such a true conservative, why are you playing songs that have a very populist pro-labor message written by a guy who would find no argument if you characterized him as left of center?”

Mellencamp songs that had been played at McCain’s events included “Our Country” and “Pink Houses.” In “Our Country,” Mellencamp sings, “There’s room enough here for science to live, and there’s room enough here for religion to forgive.” In “Pink Houses,” he sings about a simple man who “pays for the thrills, the bills and the pills that kill.”

His other hits include “Jack and Diane,” ”Hurts So Good” and “Small Town.” Mellencamp is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10 in New York.