He didn’t appear on the red carpet, but Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson reportedly stopped by the Country Music Awards last night. The gay marriage moderate Thompson agreed to go as the personal guest of John Rich, a man once caused a stink with his unsavory thoughts on same-sex nuptials:

I think if you legalize that, you’ve got to legalize some other things that are pretty unsavory. You can call me a radical, but how can you tell an aunt that she can’t marry her nephew if they are really in love and sharing the bills? How can you tell them they can’t get married, but something else that’s unnatural can happen?

Rich later apologized, saying, “My [comments] don’t reflect my full views on the broader issues regarding tolerance and the treatment of gays and lesbians in our society.” Don’t you just love “tolerance”? So friendly!

Regardless of Rich’s personal views, Thompson’s alliance could spell electoral gold:

If Thompson can harness his Music City connections to appeal to rank-and-file country-music fans, it could help his campaign enormously. According to the CMA, country is the nation’s dominant radio genre, with 2,046 stations last year and more than 48 million adult listeners.


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