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Stephen Stills on Mitt Romney: 'I Never Thought I'd See a Creepier Politician Than Nixon'

Read his exclusive endorsement of President Obama

Stephen Stills
David Livingston/Getty Images
October 29, 2012 12:35 PM ET

Let's take a look at recent history. When was Black Friday? When did the Dow drop 800 points? When was the big heist when all the bank stimulus money was given out with no accountability? Watching Mitt Romney and the Republicans campaigning right now, you'd never know all these things happened during the Bush administration. They speak as if the economy collapsed the day Obama was sworn into office.  

Right now, the Dow is at 13,000. It was below 8,000 when the president took office. Job growth is rising. Unemployment is dropping. We desperately need to stay the course with this president. 

At the second debate, somebody asked how Bush and Romney differ. I'll give you the answer: Romney's taller, Mormon and a little smarter and meaner. That's about it. I couldn't believe how he acted at that debate. He's a churlish little prick. At least Bush was affable. I don't care if it's a debate and you're running for office. It's not right to be that rude to the President of the United States, let alone anybody else. Also, you don't get offended when you get corrected. Unlike President Obama, Mitt Romney has been inside the bubble all his life. He has no idea what's going on here. He has no idea how descructive Bush's eight years were to this country. 

18 Ways Mitt Romney Is Just Like George W. Bush         

After running for years as a hard-right conservative, Romney is sprinting to the center in the final days of the campaign. This shouldn't surprise anyone. He cast himself as a moderate back when he became Governor of Massachusetts. He'll be whatever he thinks he has to be in order to win. He is just raw ambition with no real ideology. Great, he's got ambition. I have the ambition to play quarterback for the New York Jets. It's not gonna happen. 

Many people don't understand the obstacles the Republican party has put in the way of President Obama. From day one, they've refused to let him govern. What is the value of the perpetual filibuster? You don't get anything done at all. Mitt's been calling for that since the first day. So we have watered down versions of everything Obama asked for. But the second term will get better. Even Bill Clinton, in the face of all that Ken Starr nonsense, managed to get a lot done in his second term. 

I feel like I'm watching a long, drawn-out version of Blazing Saddles – all of the characters are there. At last, Obama found the Waco Kid. That's Bill Clinton. Karl Rove is Hedley Lamarr, and the Republican caucus is the guys from the fire scene. They're all in there. I swear.

I think that President Obama has done the best he possibly could during the first term considering that his opposition was willing to do whatever necessary to destroy him, even if it meant damaging the country in the process. I love Obama's calm and dignity. A lot of people confuse that with being aloof, but I know people that have held that job. It's a 24-hour barrage of information. Reagan wasn't wrong taking a break from it. At least Obama's been on the job. He didn't spend 200 days at a ranch clearing brush.

What's frustrating for me right now is that the GOP noise machine has managed to convince working-class people to vote against their economic interests. They're watching the propaganda and really buying into it. They don't even realize that the Chinese keep beating us at this stuff because they pretty much have slaves, and as long as we keep shipping jobs over there it's gonna be that way. It's not rocket science. You just have to dig a little deeper than the stuff the talking heads are feeding you every day.

It shouldn't be hard to counter all the lies of the Republican party. It's all just transparent bullshit. Rachel Maddow and her staff manage to ferret out the truth on a daily basis. Sadly, the broader public is watching Fox, although this is changing. That network is a propaganda machine invented by Rupert Murdoch for the agenda of loosening up everything for the one percent.

Obama and the Road Ahead: The Rolling Stone Interview

Look, Mitt Romney has never governed. He's been running for president forever. He was the chief executive of Massachusetts, and he left them with a huge deficit. All he's done is predatory venture capitalism. That's it. He doesn't know how to make jobs. He knows how to get rid of jobs.

After getting driven into the ground by the policies of the Bush administration, the economy is creeping up. It's doing that because people are sticking their shoulders to the wheel. Community banks are doing a lot of lending to small businesses and keeping them going. I just traveled through 80 cities in the country, and they're working on roads everywhere. That's the Obama stimulus money at work. He's lead this country back from the brink of a complete disaster. Romney stands for all the policies that got us into this mess. It's imperative that Obama gets re-elected, and I'm going to do everything I can between now and the election to make sure that happens. 

With only a few days left, there is very little opportunity for nuance, so I will just tell you from my gut. I never in my lifetime thought I would see a creepier politician than Richard Nixon, but in the last few days, it became clear that Willard Mitt Romney is really, really creepy. Icky creepy, as my granddaughter would put it. 

Halloween is over. Get off the couch, get to the polls, and vote the Democratic ticket. As a fellow citizen, I implore you to exercise your sacred trust and cast your ballot in favor of common sense and the future.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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