10 Songs Republican Candidates Should Use in Their Campaigns
Republicans are notorious for using artists' music without their permission, sometimes hijacking songs critical of Republican values. During his 1984 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan tried to use Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." – somehow missing its critique of American exceptionalism and militarism. Springsteen said no, but that didn't stop Reagan from quoting it in a stump speech.
Cut to 2015, and Donald Trump has set his presidential announcement to Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" – a pretty clear indictment of George Bush the first – prompting the Canadian rocker to chastise the Donald and endorse Bernie Sanders.
To help other Republicans who may be struggling to choose an appropriate campaign song, we've put together a list of tracks that would work well for some of the 2016 presidential hopefuls.
Jeb Bush: “Chain Gang,” Sam Cooke
Bush, one of the frontrunners in the crowded GOP field, has this advice for Americans: Work longer hours! Oh, and by the way, don't ask for overtime. This song seems to embody his ethos, which – as you can imagine – has gone over super well with already overworked voters.
Ben Carson: “Hands,” Jewel
Carson isn't only a presidential hopeful and Tea Party darling – he's also a renowned neurosurgeon who wrote a 1996 memoir called Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (which became a made-for-TV movie with Cuba Gooding Jr.). Carson is almost certainly not going to be president, so Gifted Hands might be his most lasting legacy. Play him out, Jewel.
Lindsey Graham: “Call Me,” Blondie
Graham recently learned the hard way what happens when you repeatedly call Donald Trump a "jackass": Trump will retaliate by giving out your personal phone number during a stump speech.
Ted Cruz: “Girl on Fire,” Alicia Keys
Speaking at a Strafford County Republican Committee meeting in New Hampshire in March, Cruz vilified President Obama and the Democrats – as is his wont – and described the world as being "on fire." When a three-year-old girl from the audience asked the senator, "The world is on fire?" Cruz responded by surely terrifying her: “Yes!" he exclaimed. "Your world is on fire! But you know what? Your mommy is here and everyone is here to make sure that the world you grow up in is even better."
"Your World Is on Fire" unfortunately hasn't been recorded yet, so this will have to do in the meantime.
Carly Fiorina: “Got Your Money,” Ol’ Dirty Bastard Featuring Kelis
With no political experience under her belt, Fiorina likes to sell herself as a good businesswoman. Unfortunately, her track record is so bad, a high-level former campaign staffer once said, "I'd rather go to Iraq than work for Carly Fiorina again." And a dozen people who worked on Fiorina's unsuccessful 2010 Senate campaign have said they wouldn't work for her presidential campaign, because she didn't pay them. In all fairness, Fiorina, who is worth $120 million, had other financial obligations after her Senate bid: She repaid herself $1.2 million and then bought a $6 million five-acre waterfront estate in Virginia.
Bobby Jindal: “The Exorcist” Theme Song
Plenty of dudes brag about college exploits. Jindal is no different – except the wild time he talks about involves an apparent exorcism. This song will remind people of the Louisiana governor's healing powers.
George Pataki: “Say My Name,” Destiny’s Child
Pataki is almost as memorable and charismatic as Anne Veal of Arrested Development. ("Who?") This song may be the former New York governor's only shot at fixing his name recognition problem.
Chris Christie: “Fuck You,” Cee Lo Green
What better way to demonstrate Christie's bullying attitude toward teachers, random constituents and New Jersey drivers and residents than through this catchy tune?
Rick Perry: “Oops!. . .I Did It Again,” Britney Spears
If there's anyone this Britney classic would be appropriate for, it's Perry, who during a 2011 Republican debate couldn't remember the third government agency he would absolutely, positively, most definitely cut as president. "I will tell you, it's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, education and the, um, what's the third one there?" he said. "Oops."
Donald Trump: “Hot Stepper,” Ini Kamoze
It's grandiose, inappropriate and awkward – yet undeniably amusing. It's like it was handcrafted for the Donald's campaign.