Country music legend Willie Nelson unveiled his new election-themed song “Vote ’Em Out” on Saturday at a massive rally for Democratic Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke in Austin, Texas.
Nelson performed his musical call to action at Austin’s Auditorium Shores after singing several of his hits, including “On The Road Again” with O’Rourke, who seeks to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the November midterm elections.
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) September 30, 2018
Nelson, who announced his endorsement of O’Rourke earlier this month, belted out the lyrics to “Vote ’Em Out,” which stresses the importance of Americans’ right to vote.
“The biggest gun we’ve got is called the ballot box/ If you don’t like who’s in there, vote ’em out,” the song says.
The rally was attended by roughly 55,000 people, Auditorium Shores told the Austin American-Statesman.
It wasn’t the first time O’Rourke has performed with Nelson. He joined the music legend on stage a couple months ago at the singer’s annual Fourth of July Picnic in Austin.
And here’s Willie Nelson’s performance of “Vote Em Out” to close out Beto O’Rourke’s Austin rally. pic.twitter.com/rRR9aHApSh
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) September 30, 2018
Cruz, an unwavering conservative who failed in his bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, had been heavily favored to win a second Senate term at the start of this year’s campaign. But O’Rourke, a House member from El Paso, has generated widespread enthusiasm for his candidacy and pulled close to Cruz in several polls.
Nelson has taken heat from some of his conservative fans over his support for O’Rourke. His link on his Facebook page to a news article announcing his plans to headline O’Rourke’s rally on Saturday prompted some angry responses.
One fan griped on Nelson’s page that “If thats true [then] I’m done after 45 years with the Red Headed Stranger.”
“By Willie, that smoke has finally got you!” the fan added. apparently referring to Nelson’s longtime use of marijuana.
Nelson has shrugged off the naysayers.
“I don’t care,” Nelson said earlier this month on ABC’s “The View. “You know, they’re entitled to their opinions and I’m entitled to mine. … Everybody has a right to an opinion.”