TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder isn't singing Republican Mitt Romney's praises.
Vedder said during a Thursday performance at a fundraiser for President Barack Obama that he was upset by Romney's caught-on-tape comments from last spring that 47 percent of Americans consider themselves victims and entitled to government help.
"It's very upsetting to hear a presidential candidate be so easily dismissive of such a ginormous amount of the population," Vedder told the Obama donors. He said if Romney were to win the White House, "none of those 47 percent of people would have a voice."
Vedder told the audience that he struggled as a young man and credited a government training program with helping him learn the skills he needed to become a security guard in San Diego, a job that helped support his rock 'n roll ambitions.
"It was that job that allowed me to also afford the guitars and tape recorder and microphones I needed to let me afford keep working on music," he said. "It was also the job I reluctantly left to move up to Seattle for less pay, in order to join a band. It all worked out."
Vedder performed a four-song acoustic set: "Rise," ''Without You," a cover of James Taylor's "Millworker" and a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."
At one point, Vedder broke out a Hawaiian-made ukulele and joked, "It's got a little birth certificate right in there."
That was a reference to discredited claims that Obama was not born in the United States.