Tom’s music was used by at least two GOP candidates on their campaign trails, both of which he didn’t approve of. The first was George W. Bush, who was using his song “I Won’t Back Down” at rallies in 2000. In response, Petty’s team wrote:
“Please be advised that this use has not been approved . . . Any use made by you or your campaign creates, either intentionally or unintentionally, the impression that you and your campaign have been endorsed by Tom Petty, which is not true.”
Tom made his political leanings clear after Bush had won the campaign, by playing at the home of Democrat opponent Al Gore.
Eleven years later, another Republican candidate, Michelle Bachmann, used Tom’s “American Girl” at a rally, and quickly received a cease and desist from his team.
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