Rage Against The Machine/Nightwatchman guitarist Tom Morello is as known for his outspoken political views as his pioneering work on the guitar. But the notoriously left-wing politico has lashed out at both Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan as well as the current President Barack Obama in a scathing bi-partisan rant to The Hollywood Reporter.
“[Rage] is a band that casts the nets really wide, and that’s part of the strength of the band,” Morello explained in regards to Ryan now infamously declaring himself a fan of Rage Against The Machine, much to Morello’s chagrin. “People are drawn to it by the music, the aggression, the rockingness of it, and then they’re exposed to different ideas. Paul Ryan was a jackass before he listened to it, came out a jackass at the end, so he missed a lot of it.”
But unlike Morello’s usual political banter, the guitarist also admitted to being disappointed in the performance of President Obama, who he supported wholeheartedly in the 2008 Presidential election.
“I drank a little bit of the kool-aid initially. It looked different than any other president, sounded different than any other president, and then he acted the same as all the other presidents,” Morello criticized. “If you have war crimes on your record, and you still continue to suck at the corporate teat like he does — my hopes were higher.
“It seems like it’s a contest, between the two candidates, who can say the words ‘middle class’ the most,” Morello continued, citing poverty as the primary issue this election. “Like, if you say ‘middle class’ the most, you win. Well, half the country is in poverty, kids are going hungry, from West Hollywood to Appalachia tonight. But those people don’t have a lobby, and they don’t donate to the campaign in a way that they’re going to get something back for it.”
Morello was most recently seen as part of a star-studded tribute to late folk music legend Woody Guthrie in Washington, D.C., alongside the likes of Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp, Lucinda Williams and Ani DiFranco.
–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local