R.E.M., the popular '80s rock band, lashed out at Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz for using their hit song "It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" during a Wednesday rally to oppose President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.
"Go f*** yourselves, the lot of you — you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men," frontman Michael Stipe said in a quote given to The Daily Beast
. "Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign."
"Personally, I think the Orange Clown will do anything for attention. I hate giving it to him," added founding band member Mike Mills.
As CNN reported, Cruz invited GOP frontrunner Trump
to Washington D.C., where he spoke to a large, cheering crowd on Capitol Hill. The 1987 R.E.M. song played as Trump took to the stage.
"I had a great day in D.C. even though the subject was an unpleasant one, the horrible Iran Nuke deal. Amazing crowd and enthusiasm!" Trump wrote on Twitter
after the rally.
Later on Wednesday, R.E.M. toned down its response.
"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 band wrote on its Facebook page
. "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."
R.E.M. has taken issue with its songs being used during political events in the past, and singer Michael Stipe has been a vocal advocate of gun control and animal rights.
In 2012, Fox News played the song "Losing My Religion" during coverage of the Democratic National Convention, prompting Stipe to comment.
"We have little or no respect for their puff adder brand of reportage," Stipe said at the time. "Our music does not belong there."
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