Inevitable: Megadeth frontman endorses ... Rick Santorum?

If a superstar of thrash metal is going to endorse, obviously it’ll be the candidate who compares himself to Richie Cunningham.

Speaking of news, you were a correspondent for MTV during the 1992 presidential election. What’s your take on US politics in 2012?

“I’m just hoping that whatever is in the White House next year is a Republican. I can’t bear to watch what’s happened to our great country. Everybody’s got their head in the sand. Everybody in the industry is like, ‘Oh, Obama’s doing such a great job…’ I don’t think so. Not from what I see.

“Looking at the Republican candidates, I’ve got to tell you, I was floored the other day to see that Mitt Romney’s five boys have a $100 million trust fund. Where does a guy make that much money? So there’s some questions there. And watching Newt Gingrich, I was pretty excited for a while, but now he’s just gone back to being that person that everybody said he was – that angry little man. I still like him, but I don’t think I’d vote for him.

“Ron Paul… you know, I heard somebody say he was like insecticide – 98 percent of it’s inert gases, but it’s the two percent that’s left that will kill you. What that means is that he’ll make total sense for a while, and then he’ll say something so way out that it negates everything else. I like the guy because he knows how to excite the youth of America and fill them in on some things. But when he says that we’re like the Taliban… I’m sorry, Congressman Paul, but I’m nothing like the Taliban.

“Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable. Also, just watching how he hasn’t gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney’s done against Newt Gingrich, and then the volume at which Newt has gone back at Romney… You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum.”

I haven’t listened to them since “Countdown to Extinction” (I remember it as more melodic than most metal but not as poppy as Motley Crue), but Dave Weigel — who titles his post on this “Megavest” — notes that Mustaine’s conservative leanings have been more overt in recent recordings, including a rant against the UN on, er, “United Abominations.” It’s not just foreign policy, either: Check out the interview he gave to KIRO in Seattle about gay marriage.

Chris Kornelis: Does his stance on these social issues bother you?

Mustaine: It doesn’t bother me at all.

CK: Do you support gay marriage?

DM: I’m very conservative. So, take it for what it’s worth.

CK: Washington state, just this week, the governor signed gay marriage into law. Do you support gay marriage, or is that something you oppose?

DM: Well, since I’m not gay, the answer to that would be no.

CK: OK. What about for people who are gay?

DM: Since I’m not gay, the answer to that would be no.

CK: Would you support legislation to make marriage between a man and another man legal?

DM: I’m Christian. The answer to that would be no.

He’s the second coming of the Nuge, minus about a thousand machine guns and crossbows. To commemorate the occasion, here’s the first track off of 1990’s “Rust in Peace” — as selected by our own Ed Morrissey. Yes, really. The big E knows his Megadeth well enough to have kicked off his radio show today with this song, advising me that it “makes an awesome intro.” Somewhere out there, my friends, I guarantee you, there’s 20-year-old footage of him thrashing around in a mosh pit. Find it for me.