The Washington Times - October 30, 2008, 01:13PM

SANDUSKY, Ohio — While Sen. John McCain couldn’t quite track done Joe the Plumber on Thursday, he did find another Joe — Joe Perry, lead guitarist for the legendary rock band Aerosmith.

“We pretty much stay out of it, but seeing so many people come out for [Sen. Barack] Obama, I just felt like ‘What the hell, I might as well raise my hand for this side,’ ” Perry said from his Duxbury, Mass., home.


Perry says his concern for national security and the economy forced him to split from the rest of the entertainment world and throw his support behind the Republican.

A lifelong Republican, Perry said endorsements from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger prompted him to step forward.

“I’ve been a hardcore Republican my whole life,” he told the Boston Herald. “My mother and father drilled into me from the very start that if you work hard and be positive, you’ll get what you’re working for. I guess I’m living proof of that.”

On McCain’s age, Perry said: “My mother’s in her 80s and she does aerobics. My manager’s 70 and he’s right there. That doesn’t bother me.”

And Perry said he just doesn’t believe the polls. “I’m an optimist. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” he said. “I think that he’s got a chance.”

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said: “Joe Perry is an icon of rock-and-roll and a great American. John McCain absolutely appreciates his support.”
—- Joseph Curl, senior White House correspondent, The Washington Times