By Judy Kurtz - 02/01/12 11:34 PM EST
One of the writers of “Eye of the Tiger” has no problem with Newt Gingrich using the hit song to pump up crowds at campaign events.
Jim Peterik of the band Survivor told ITK he was as “surprised as anybody” to learn that his co-writer on the energy-inducing tune, Frank Sullivan, is suing the former House Speaker’s presidential campaign.
Peterik says he co-wrote “Eye of the Tiger” as a “motivational anthem,” claiming, “If one of the candidates is trying to do the best for the country and wants to use it to get people out there, then I’m all for it.”
The musician, who calls himself “pretty private” about his politics, says that he gives his blessing to use the tune, written as the theme song for “Rocky III,” because he feels the candidates “are all trying their best to make a difference. As long as they’re sincere … music over politics. Getting people pumped up and excited about America. That’s what it’s all about.”
But, as he clarifies, there are limits: “If Adolf Hitler was alive and running, I would quash it!”
The songwriter added, “To think that a song can sway the votes is kind of ridiculous. If a song could sway votes, then I would run for office.”
The Gingrich campaign didn’t return a request for comment on Peterik’s remarks.
Peterik, who’s seen a recent resurgence in the popularity of his 1970 chart-topper with the Ides of March, “Vehicle,” says he’s keeping a close eye on the 2012 race.
And he’s looking forward to an April trip to Washington for a songwriter’s conference that will have him playing for President Obama.
Peterik says he was only allowed to choose one song to sing in front of the president. His choice? “Eye of the Tiger.”