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Eddie Vedder takes issue with Romney comments

  • U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters as he arrives at a campaign rally in Sarasota, Florida, on September 20, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM)

TAMPA, Florida: Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder isn't singing Republican Mitt Romney's praises.

Vedder said during a Thursday performance at a fundraiser for President Barack Obama that he was upset by Romney's caught-on-tape comments from last spring that 47 percent of Americans consider themselves victims and entitled to government help.

"It's very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such a ginormous amount of the population," Vedder told the Obama donors. He said if Romney were to win the White House, "none of those 47 percent of people would have a voice."

Vedder told the audience that he struggled as a young man and credited a government training program with helping him learn the skills he needed to become a security guard in San Diego, a job that helped support his rock 'n roll ambitions.

"It was that job that allowed me to also afford the guitars and tape recorder and microphones I needed to let me afford keep working on music," he said. "It was also the job I reluctantly left to move up to Seattle for less pay, in order to join a band. It all worked out."

Vedder performed a four-song acoustic set: "Rise," ''Without You," a cover of James Taylor's "Millworker" and a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."

At one point, Vedder broke out a Hawaiian-made ukulele and joked, "It's got a little birth certificate right in there."

That was a reference to discredited claims that Obama was not born in the United States.

 
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