MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine was asked by Vanyaland if he thinks someone like controversial Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump actually has a chance at becoming president. He responded: "Of course — anybody does." He added: "I'm not going to go on record and say that I support anybody, because I don't, but first off, I think it's sad that whatever choice you make that you're gonna be ostracized and perhaps even worse. But even if I did pick somebody, it shouldn't matter; it should matter what a person decides. They should have their own truth."
He continued: "I think personally, make all politicians work for free, and then you'll really see who loves America. Because these dudes get paid for the rest of their lives, who's not gonna say whatever the hell they have to say to get a job there? And the sad thing is there's these beautiful young minds that are out there doing caucusing and rallying for these guys, and they don't understand the whole delegate thing yet. I remember when I was young and dumb and I thought that it was really, really gonna be down to the popular vote. Then somebody explained to me about the delegates and it was, like, 'What are you talking about?'"
Mustaine made headlines in early 2012 when he voiced his support for ultraconservative Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. He explained at the time that the Pennsylvania politician looked "like he could be a really cool president… kind of like a JFK kind of guy." That same year, he drew ire on social media when he suggested onstage at a concert in Singapore that President Obama was behind the mass shootings in Aurora and at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Mustaine later blamed media outlets for taking his statements out of context, explaining that never said he officially "endorsed" Santorum. As for the Singapore concert, he claimed to have been repeating the theories of Larry Pratt, a pro-gun activist who runs the organization Gun Owners Of America.
Also in 2012, Mustaine revealed his "birther" opinions on a talk show, saying he doubted President Obama was born in the United States. He told radio host Alex Jones: "With all of the proof about his birth certificate being fake… And you see the signs in Kenya that say 'the birthplace of Barack Obama.' Hello?! C'mon, guys. How stupid are we right now?"
Mustaine has consistently denied that he is a Republican, telling Artisan News in a 2012 interview: "I'm an independent, not a Republican — I've never been a Republican. I've always said that. I don't belong to any party — I'm non-partisan. And for me, the sad thing is, instead of voting for the best man, I have to vote for the lesser of two evils."