(WSPA/AP) — Tom Petty’s family issued a statement online, saying they issued a cease and desist letter to President Donald Trump’s campaign over the use of the late singer’s song “I Won’t Back Down” at a rally.
“Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate,” they said.
The rally was held Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The family says in the statement that Trump was not authorized to use the song.
“Everyone is free to vote as they like, think as they like, but the Petty family doesn’t stand for this…we would hate for fans that are marginalized by this administration to think we were complicit in this usage.”
On Saturday Trump held his first rally in 110 days. It was one of the largest indoor gatherings in the world during a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 120,000 Americans, put 40 million out of work and upended Trump’s reelection bid. The rally was meant to restart his reelection effort less than five months before the president faces voters again.
“The choice in 2020 is very simple,” Trump said. “Do you want to bow before the left-wing mob, or do you want to stand up tall and proud as Americans?”
After a three-month break from rallies, Trump spent the evening reviving a lot of his greatest hits, including boasts about the pre-pandemic economy and complaints about the media.
He unleashed months of pent-up grievances about the coronavirus, which he dubbed the “Kung flu,” a racist term for COVID-19 that originated from China. He also tried to defend his handling of the pandemic, even as cases continue to surge in many states, including Oklahoma.
He also leaned in hard on cultural issues, including the push to tear down statues and rename military bases honoring Confederate generals in the wake of nationwide protests about racial injustice.
However, he made no mention of George Floyd, the Black man whose death under the knee of a white Minnesota police officer launched weeks of protests from coast to coast.
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