The Washington Times - February 14, 2012, 09:05PM

*Update 2/16/12: Billboard Magazine is reporting that Mustaine is clarifying his statement regarding his reported support for Sen. Santorum:

“Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine’s not ready to cast his vote just yet. “Contrary to how some people have interpreted my words, I have not endorsed any presidential candidate,” the rocker said in a release after earlier reports had him backing Republican Rick Santorum on Wednesday. “What I did say was that I hope to see a Republican in the White House.  I’ve seen good qualities in all the candidates but by no means have made my choice yet.”

” I respect the fact that Santorum took time off from his campaign to be with his sick daughter, but I never used the word ‘endorse.’”

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Heavy metal music frontman Dave Mustaine of Megadeth was interviewed by the online magazine Music Radar and gave his views about the upcoming 2012 presidential election.

Mustaine, who is not impressed with President Barack Obama’s first term, discussed that he was fan of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at one point but became disillusioned with Mr. Gingrich later on saying, “but now he’s just gone back to being that person that everybody said he was – that angry little man. I still like him, but I don’t think I’d vote for him.”

The heavy metal guitarist was also critical of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for his super PAC ads that attacked Gingrich, and he had pointed words for Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican.

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine

“I like the guy because he knows how to excite the youth of America and fill them in on some things. But when he says that we’re like the Taliban… I’m sorry, Congressman Paul, but I’m nothing like the Taliban,” said Mustaine.

However, Mustaine did say he is now backing former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Below is part of his interview: (bolding is mine)

“I’m just hoping that whatever is in the White House next year is a Republican. I can’t bear to watch what’s happened to our great country. Everybody’s got their head in the sand. Everybody in the industry is like, ‘Oh, Obama’s doing such a great job…’ I don’t think so. Not from what I see.”

“Looking at the Republican candidates, I’ve got to tell you, I was floored the other day to see that Mitt Romney’s five boys have a $100 million trust fund. Where does a guy make that much money? So there’s some questions there. And watching Newt Gingrich, I was pretty excited for a while, but now he’s just gone back to being that person that everybody said he was – that angry little man. I still like him, but I don’t think I’d vote for him.”

“Ron Paul… you know, I heard somebody say he was like insecticide – 98 percent of it’s inert gases, but it’s the two percent that’s left that will kill you. What that means is that he’ll make total sense for a while, and then he’ll say something so way out that it negates everything else. I like the guy because he knows how to excite the youth of America and fill them in on some things. But when he says that we’re like the Taliban… I’m sorry, Congressman Paul, but I’m nothing like the Taliban.”

“Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable. Also, just watching how he hasn’t gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney’s done against Newt Gingrich, and then the volume at which Newt has gone back at Romney… You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum.”

Mustaine is not only the lead singer to Megadeth but also it’s founder, main songwriter, and lead guitarist. Before starting Megadeth, Mustaine was the first lead guitarist and a co-songwriter of the heavy metal band Metallica.