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GOP candidates show support for Jason Aldean by playing ‘Try That in a Small Town’ at rallies.

Republican Presidential Candidates Rally ⁣Behind Jason Aldean’s Controversial Song

Republican presidential ‍candidates are ​rallying⁤ behind country music singer Jason Aldean and his song “Try ⁤That in a Small Town,” issuing statements of support in what has become a political controversy‍ and playing the tune at their campaign rallies.

Since its release ‌in mid-May, the now divisive song‍ has skyrocketed in popularity ‍among GOP and ‌conservative listeners while being roundly denounced by the left, which accuse it⁢ of promoting gun violence and racism.

Adding to ‌the controversy⁣ was the official music video for⁤ the song, which premiered July 14 on YouTube.

The music video features as a backdrop to Mr. Aldean singing at the Maury⁤ County​ Courthouse in Columbia, ⁢Tenn., a⁤ balcony from‌ which a ​mob hanged black 18-year-old Henry Choate in 1927. Columbia ⁢is also the site​ of a 1946 major race ‍riot.

The producers of the video said that Mr. Aldean ​did‌ not choose the location.

On July 20, “Try That in a ⁤Small Town” hit No. 1 on the U.S. iTunes⁤ chart.

Music Television (MTV) ⁣and Country Music Television (CMT), however, have banned the video⁤ from playing‍ on their networks.

Among the 2024 ​hopefuls touting the song are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador and ‍South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Mr. DeSantis ⁢and Mr. ‌Pence made public​ comments backing the song, and‍ Ms. Haley and Mr. Ramaswamy played the music at their rallies and have committed to keep doing so.

At a New Hampshire town⁣ hall on July⁤ 20, Mr. Ramaswamy explained why he chose to play the song at the event.

“You want to understand the best measure of America’s health? Here’s what it is: it is ⁣the⁤ percentage of people who feel​ free to say ⁣what​ they actually think in ⁤public,”⁣ the biotech entrepreneur told the crowd.

“I respect—whether it’s a musical artist, whether it’s a parent, whether it’s a corporate executive who ⁤will say in ⁣public the things that you are otherwise supposed to keep to yourself.”

On July 21 in South Carolina, Ms. Haley posted on Twitter: “You all‌ know I love music. Tonight ⁣in Greenville, we added a⁤ new song to the playlist: Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That in a Small Town.’”

Mr. Pence commented​ on the song when speaking with reporters at a campaign ⁤stop in New ‌Hampshire:

“I think the attacks on Jason Aldean⁤ for penning a song that just really celebrates ​the strength of small towns like the one I grew​ up in is really despicable,”‍ he said.

“It’s just an example of the kind of conflict within the popular culture that⁣ we’ve grown accustomed to.”

Appearing on Fox News, Ron DeSantis spoke to the ‍controversy over the song, saying, “We need to restore‌ sanity to this country. I mean, what is going on that that​ would be something that would be censured. I mean, give me a break.‍ We’re ‌off the rocker here.”

Aldean addressed the controversy in⁢ a tweet he posted‍ on July 18.

“In the past 24 hours, I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May)‍ and was ‍subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests,” he wrote.

“These references are not only ​meritless, but dangerous. There is not a single ⁣lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a‍ single video clip⁣ that isn’t real news footage -and while⁤ I⁢ can try and respect others to have their⁤ own interpretation of a ⁤song with music- this ⁣one⁤ goes too far.”

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