- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2015

R.E.M. really doesn’t want Donald Trump and his GOP cohorts using their songs on the campaign trail.

Lead singer Michael Stipe was pretty blunt about that fact after Mr. Trump took the stage to their 1987 hit, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” during a Capitol Hill rally Wednesday against President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. The gathering also featured Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican.

“Go [expletive] yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men,” Mr. Stipe told The Daily Beast in an emailed comment.

Bassist Mike Mills piled on, saying on Twitter: “Personally, I think the Orange Clown will do anything for attention. I hate giving it to him.”

It’s unlikely that Mr. Trump will apologize to R.E.M. anytime soon, as his flamboyant, no-holds-barred style seems to have rocketed him to the top of the polls in the first place.

The Athens, Georgia, band, which parted ways in 2011, issued a statement on its website that mixed some legalese with a call for everyone to look beyond the political circus.

“While we do not authorize or condone the use of our music at this political event, and do ask that these candidates cease and desist from doing so, let us remember that there are things of greater importance at stake here. The media and the American voter should focus on the bigger picture, and not allow grandstanding politicians to distract us from the pressing issues of the day and of the current Presidential campaign,” it said.

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