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Monday
Feb272012

Mitt Romney & Kid Rock: Secret Meeting Led to High-Profile Jam Session

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(ROYAL OAK, Mich.) -- It had all the fixings of a Mitt Romney rally, and then Kid Rock hit the stage.

On the eve of the Michigan primary, musician Kid Rock sang a live version of "Born Free," the official campaign song of the Romney campaign and a song that, until Monday night, has only been heard blaring through speakers at events from New Hampshire to Iowa to South Carolina and everywhere in between.  

“The other day I got in my car and I drove out to a home of a fellow that lives in this area, and I asked him whether he might come here tonight,” said Romney, standing on a stage at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, surrounded by subwoofers and a drum set.

“I think you know him pretty well. He’s a native son of Detroit, loves Michigan, loves Detroit. He’s recently made quite a commitment — he said he’s going to raise a million dollars for Detroit symphony. He put a piece of paper in front of me. He’d written down some questions for me. He said first of all, he said, ‘Mitt, if you’re elected president, will you help me help the state of Michigan?’ And I said I would,” said Romney, teasing Kid Rock’s performance, which had only been described as a “surprise musical guest” in campaign advisories.

The two apparently met last week behind closed doors, when Romney went to the singer’s suburban Michigan home on Feb. 23. The meeting lasted for about an hour, according to a campaign aide, who described the sitdown as a “warm and friendly conversation” during which the two discussed their “similar interests,” including Romney’s commitment to Michigan, Detroit and the troops.  Kid Rock recently pledged to play a charity concert to raise $1 million to go toward saving the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Romney has pledged his support of the state of Michigan again and again on the stump.

According to the aide, a representative from the Romney campaign had reached out to the musician when the Michigan campaign schedule began to finalize, requesting a live appearance after getting permission to play the audio of the song months earlier.

But Kid Rock insisted on meeting Romney in person, the aide said, a get-together that was attended by the candidate and at least one senior advisor.  The day after the meeting, Kid Rock emailed Romney on his personal email address and agreed to perform at Monday evening’s rally.

Romney himself characterized the conversation with Kid Rock in his introduction to the singer.

“He said, ‘If you’re elected president, will you help me help the city of Detroit?’ I said I would. And then I turned to him, and I said, ‘By the way, given the fact that I’m willing to do those things, will you come here and perform a concert tonight for my friends, and he said he would,” said Romney. “So I’m happy to introduce a son of Detroit, a friend, a guy who makes great music, who introduces me by DVD everywhere I go — Kid Rock!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio