Newly minted Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz appeared on CBS This Morning to begin the long scramble for the White House. It’s his first full day on the campaign trail, and he’s already pissed off a huge demographic— rock ’n’ roll fans. The GOP Senator from Texas has said that although he used to be a big fan of classic rock music, he was disappointed in how the rock community responded to 9/11. As a result, he’s now a die-hard country fan.
“I grew up listening to classic rock and I’ll tell you sort of an odd story,” he told host Gayle King. “My music tastes changed on 9/11. And it’s a very strange—I actually, intellectually, find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded. And country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me and I have to say, it—just as a gut level, I had an emotional reaction that says, ’These are my people.’ And so ever since 2001 I listen to country music, but I’m an odd country music fan because I didn’t listen to it prior to 2001.”
First of all, Ted must have missed the incredible Concert For New York City, featuring unforgettable performances for NYPD and NYFD by the likes of Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, the Who, David Bowie, and many more. The event raised $35 million dollars, and an untold number of spirits. OK, “Freedom” wasn’t Macca’s strongest work, but these metal 9/11 tribute songs are definitely quality.
Secondly, why is he being so hard on musicians in the wake of this horrific event? Their job is to comfort and entertain, which is exactly what they did. They’re not FEMA. To stop enjoying an entire genre of music because of perceived failures (ethical or otherwise) during September 11th is preposterous and offensive. I’m a rock ’n’ roll fan, and I don’t appreciate the implication that the music I love didn’t support my country in its time of need. I bet these rockers who served in the military would agree.
Nothing against country music—or Republicans— but Cruz’s statements are a transparent attempt at pandering for votes by exploiting a national tragedy and slandering rock ’n’ roll. Not cool. So I offer my strongest criticism that we at VH1 can muster: Ted Cruz, you have lame taste in music.