Country star John Rich performs for McCain

August 2, 2008

military.jpgPANAMA CITY, Florida – Republican presidential candidate John McCain, whose musical tastes are known to include the disco band Abba, took in some country music on Friday — courtesy of Nashville star John Rich.
Rich, half of the star duo “Big and Rich,” staged a waterside concert for McCain in the Florida Panhandle, a traditional Republican part of the battleground state.
McCain’s rallies earlier this year included the tune, Johnny B. Goode, and once he got tired of that, Abba’s 1977 hit “Take a Chance on Me” was his song of choice. 
Music at his events are now an eclectic mix from the Rolling Stones to Tina Turner and Brooks and Dunn.
Rich, in between songs, declared himself a west Texas conservative who gets frustrated when he turns on the television because “I always see the other side” of the political spectrum represented.
So, he said, he wrote a song called “Raising McCain,” which he performed.
“We’re all just raising McCain,” he sang. “You can get on the train, or get out of the way, we’re all just raising McCain.”
At that point, McCain pulled up in his Straight Talk Express bus with his wife, Cindy, and Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and his fiance.
Noting the military veterans in the crowd, McCain said: “We will not surrender, not in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world.” 
Rich’s musical partner, Big Kenny Alphin, was not at the Country First concert, and is reported to have given money to the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder (McCain speaks July 21 outside Maine Military Museum in South Portland)


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Thank you John Rich!!! What a lovely alternative to “Ludacris” – a song that uplifts instead of tearing down. Keep it up!

Posted by Penny Bickley | Report as abusive

Its a COUNTRY singer… enought said.

At least his partner is intelligent.

Posted by BushGuiltyAsSin | Report as abusive

just some more politics as usual, used to think McCain was worth a vote. Now he is just another Cheney monkey

Posted by mrs suzy | Report as abusive

Too bad this country is so divided that if you don’t love republican dogma and country music, you are tearing it down. If you don’t believe in the Cheney way or the bush divider ways you are a terrorist. We need to change the direction of the politics as usual. This country is too divided with my way or the highway attitudes. We need to unite again and John McCain cannot do this.
Even Big and Rich are divided on this issue. We are all going to have to learn Chinese at the rate we are going in debt internationally.

Posted by suz adams | Report as abusive

But, then again, neither can Obama unite us. No way, no how. But, I will take John Rich any day of the week over Ludacris. I’m sure you disagree, and would choose the life-affirming, positivity seen from the Ludacris camp. As for “Bush divider ways” and “Cheney monkey”…good stuff guys, really good stuff. Quite angry AND original!

Posted by other adams | Report as abusive

suz adams: Have u considered that Obama can’t even unite his own racially mixed family much less a NATION! Wake up honey before it’s too late!

Posted by Stewart Giardina | Report as abusive

lol, he’s mad because he always see’s the other side of the political spectrum? Well, turn Fox News on you “west Texas conservative”, I’m sure you know what that is. And frankly, who cares who endorses who? I prefer Obama over McCain and country music over rap music. McCain nor Obama is responsible for any of the acts other people do. If my dog gets into the trash, I don’t blame his original owner for it. Same as this. Ludacris’ song wasn’t as divisive as everyone wants to make it out to be. It’s just a rap song. Better than the McCain train..

Posted by JB | Report as abusive

Appreciate the performance by Rich, for Senator McCain..I’m not even into Country & Western; but that was an exception. The thing that I cannot understand is why all of us are being so hateful. Yes, I’m a McCain man; but if i can’t say something nice and good, I say nothing at all.

Posted by Bob B. | Report as abusive

bob b, good post. i agree with you. if you can’t say something nice don’t say it. these liberals are very angry people, very miserable. MCCAIN ’08!!!

Posted by MIKE | Report as abusive

MIKE, take heed to your own words. If YOU cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. It seems to me the right wingers are doing the majority of the name calling, including you. Besides, us liberals are very angry and miserable due to 8 years of conservative moral BS and we definitely do not want 4 more with McCain.

Posted by JB | Report as abusive

Besides, us liberals are very angry and miserable due to 8 years of conservative moral BS and we definitely do not want 4 more with McCain.

Amen to that JB.

Posted by BushGuiltyAsSin | Report as abusive

Raising McCain is a good song and Thanks to John Rich for writing it and putting it out there. I don’t like what has been going on in government the last few years either, but it is not all Bush. What have the Demos been doing the last few year since they gained control of both the house and senate???? Not a dang thing !!! except divide the country more and more. Good old Harry Reid – leader of the senate, and Nancy Pelosi who won’t even allow a vote on off shore drilling when members of her own party want it are as responsible as anyone for the screwed up government we now have. Republicans haven’t done their job but neither had the Demos and they had the power for the last few years.

Posted by BB | Report as abusive

Wherever this country is going, like it or not, we are going together. The only way I can see America as a whole to gain her respect and status again, is to become more concerned with this soil, this nation and the american peoples rights first, then worry about the others. When America can say, “No american is hungry, no one is going without the most basic needs of food–clothing–shelter,and medical care.” then we can say we are great. I am not in anyway endorsing socialism, which is what the democrats seem to tout. That is not the answer either. I am an independent, and I vote independent. We have bowed enough, time to stand up for ourselves, And say our monies, and our resources are for the benefit of our own people first.

Posted by Rebecca | Report as abusive

John has put the words to what many of us feel – It’s a great song Mr. Rich, of course that’s no surprise considering the composer. Hopefully Mr. McCain will use it as it would surely energize the campaign. My husband,a disabled Vietnam vet, dog handler who worked with 101st Airborne among others, and I are 100% behind Mr. McCain and John Rich. I encourage everyone to go to and purchase either one of the Raising McCain T-shirts and flood the country with them, in fact buy several as I am going to do and give them as gifts!

AND Don’t forget to mske your voice heard and vote!

Posted by Andrea Lee — in CO | Report as abusive