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September 21st, 2012
04:14 PM ET

"Big Kenny" on which way he leaned in 2008: "I don't think that's proper for you to even ask that"

They hail from Nashville, Tenn., but earlier this week, country music's Big&Rich made it's way from "Music City," to "The City That Never Sleeps," for a primetime interview with Piers Morgan.

Sitting together face to face for their first interview together in more than five years, the topic quickly turns from vocals to voting, as the host attempted to label "Big Kenny" a liberal.

"I don't even know what that is," says the 48-year-old singer and songwriter. "What I know is I'm a farm boy, raised in Virginia, to a dad who is a hard-working man and a mother who taught me music and gave me great lessons in life."

For John Rich, meanwhile, there is no gray area within his political identity:

"Yes, I'm a conservative," he states emphatically.

As for his his partner?

"I would categorize Kenny as an independent, actually."

Independent or not, Kenny believes in the Democratic process, and the importance of going to the polls. He just doesn't like to talk about whose ticket he punched the last time around:

"Did you vote for Obama?" inquires the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host.

"I don't think that's proper for you to even ask that," comes the response.

But as the awkwardness builds, Rich lightens the mood:

"In all fairness, Piers can't even vote," quips the 38-year-old native of Texas.

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, then tune in at 9 p.m. to see what prompted "Big Kenny" to rise from his chair, and hug the host, while Morgan nervously pleaded for a commercial break.
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  1. Cauthon

    I never realized you were one of my fellow RWE’s (Right Wing Extremists), until I heard you asking those tough questions of your LWE (Left Wing Extremist:-) guest (before Big and Rich, didn’t get his name). They of course have no good answer for your questions; by now Obama and his people own the problems, and their highly ideological actions have done nothing to solve those problems. 2009 was, after all, a lot like 2001, a new president came into office and found a recession waiting for him, like a cow-pie sitting on his desk. The Democrats used to say in 2003 or so that Bush would be the first president since the Depression to preside over a net loss of jobs, but with help from Bush we cleaned up enough of the cow-pie so that the honor of being the #1 job loser of modern times goes to Obama, not Bush. Indeed, what part of the Bush record don’t they like – perhaps the 5% unemployment? Obama could have done things to help business create jobs, as Bush did, but he didn’t think that was important. It is hard to escape the conclusion that the Democrats do not like prosperity, because happy, prosperous people aren’t continually afraid of tomorrow, and we don’t need a nanny state to take care of us. We all live in fear every day since 9/11, more or less like the old cold war times that I grew up with, but our government should not be taking advantage of our stressed-out condition to deceive and dominate us.

    September 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patrick

      5% unemployment for Bush. Are you insane? The month Bush left office, January of 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8 – and we proceeded to lose another 800,000 jobs that month. You ask, "what part of the Bush record don’t they like"? – I don't know about them, but the part I don't like the most is the 4,500 dead Americans, 100,000 dead Iraqis (most of them innocent civilians) and $1 Trillion spent on a foolish war. A war we should have never started and Bush lied and manipulated us into.

      September 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Cauthon

    You remind me of a professor whom I met some years ago, one of those who write papers about social issues. After considerable discussion, I asked whether I could still cite his work as coming from a Certifiable Eastern Establishment Liberal University, when his conclusions were so conservative. He said that he and his colleagues, being good liberals, and gun control being the acid test of liberalism, applied for a grant (meaning, I believe, the one from the Justice Department) with the plan that they would go through the statistics and establish the foundation for gun control once and for all, but they found instead that there wasn’t any. In the years that have passed I have not seen anything that casts significant doubt on that conclusion, and I have to respect them for having the integrity to publish what they learned, instead of what they hoped to find. I have read some papers on the other side, and I would be too ashamed to put my name on such junk and try to publish it. I am not fond of the dumb voter theory, or even the dumb Congressperson theory; I do not believe that my NRA friends and I have paid Congress to vote against the public interest, but that they have paid attention to their fellow liberals in academia and avoid voting for gun control laws because they understand that those laws won’t help. I think that the reason why lots of liberals still want more gun control is that they misunderstand the conclusions that the professors are presenting; they think that the papers are trying to prove that there will never be one life saved by a gun control law, but that is not correct. The problem is that in hopes of saving that one life we disarm millions of ordinary people who are not murderers; having been disarmed, they are, as Jefferson said, much more easily robbed or murdered. I suspect that you, like the above described professor, may be starting to see reality even if it does not agree with your previous liberal ideas. Welcome to the club:-)

    BTW, wasn’t it Obama who said, “I have inherited a $trillion deficit, and I have just about doubled it in these first few weeks, and we are headed right on to $3 trillion and $4 trillion and 5, get on board with me and together we can.”? Maybe it’s just his actions that I’m remembering, not his words? His actions have certainly spoken very loudly:-)

    September 21, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jady

      Go back to your TEA PARTY!!!!

      September 22, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • scott

        That is supposed to be an insult right? Heres one. Piers, Go back to england, You are failing as a liberal talk show host.

        September 22, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • john willow

      NRA propganda alert!!

      September 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jady

    Where did you find Katie GOP? Junior high? You sb embarrassed selecting her!!!!

    September 22, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. worldcares

    I liked this interview.

    September 22, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. diana

    I've never heard of these guys before and don't listen to country music but I was really impressed with Piers Morgan pointedly asking that Big Rich aka "idiot redneck dude" about gun control which no one is talking about in this election nor very much before and I doubt after. It was interesting to see him fly off and interrupt Piers when he simply brought up how a similar incident to the Aurora shooting can be avoided. Big Rich loudly stated that he would never allow anyone to burst into his house and harm his family that he would be right there to mow them down with a hail of bullets. While Big Rich seems incapable of any type of critical thinking or nuanced thinking he is just one more mouth spouting off about second amendment rights. On a larger scale he seems to symbolizes the fear that permeates much of this country not just over personal safety but massive social and cultural changes and how it feels much better to snuggle up with their widdle security blanket (be it the bible, the constiution..) then perhaps embrace, or lat least consider, the possibility of a rapidly changing dynamic global world that the US plays an increasingly small role in..

    September 22, 2012 at 3:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeremy

      I am truly sorry that you feel that way dear BUT gun control only affects law abiding citizens. It does not keep someone with malice in their hearts from harming innocent people. As a 10 year military veteran who owns firearms I can tell you this much. You will have to pry my LEGALLY owned and LICENSED fire arms from my cold, DEAD hands. signed another "red neck Idiot dude"

      September 22, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • john willow

        i woudn't get too condescending with other posters, Jerermy, because you have no idea what you're talking about. Other first-world nations with gun control have far lower murder rates than the U.S. Even U.S. states with controls have lowered their murder rates.
        The NRA inflates the statistics regarding guns used by civilians for self-defense, using one study by Gary Kleck, widely criticized for its methodology. FBI statistics are far different.

        The NRA lobbied to allow the continuing sale of glocks, the rapid-firing weapon of choice for mass killers such as James Holmes,Jared Lee Loughner, and Seung-Hui Cho, who murdered 33 students at Virginia Tech.
        It's not hard ti understand why.The gun industry props up the NRA to the tune of millions of dollars a year through the "corporate partners" program.

        September 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Island Park resident

    On Friday night, Romney's donations were constantly referred to as 'charity.' Donations to the LDS church are NOT charity. The donated money goes into the church's general fund and is used for such things as defeating gay marriage in California. http://saltlakecity.backpage.com/LegalServices/mormons-boost-antigay-marriage-effort-group-has-given-millions-in-support-of-california-fund/899287

    September 22, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. jane

    I can't help but agree with Island Park resident on this one.....It seems to me that everyone is playing a little fast and loose with the definition of "charitable" donations in this instance.
    Could somebody explain to all of us just exactly who were the beneficiaries of all Mr. Romney"s largesse.

    September 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tim Wallace

    CNN!!!??? Why don't you show the whole interview?!! Maybe because Piers Morgan only held the first half of this interview with a build up intent for the big question about where they stand on the Second Amendment! I saw the whole interview and I think John Rich called an Apple and Apple, stood up for American Rights, and CNN Edited the part they want America to see. Weak sauce! All my friends tell me to get my news from other sources. I tell people "No way CNN brings the whole store without party Judgment." LOOKS LIKE I MIGHT BE WRONG!!!!

    September 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Griff.

    "Well I guess you still remember your Moments??"

    September 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Griff.

    "The Mess you have in the USA, will not 'Go Away' Under Obama's Dis-Hurray's. You can shout, but you need to ????
    PIERSE??? THIS IS LAST WEEKS SHOW!!! HOW MANY MORE "RE-RUNS' Do WE NEED??"

    September 22, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Griff.

    "18;10 Pacific time, and you're still stuck on one script???"

    September 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Griff.

    "You're talking to a Sprog, Pierse!!!"

    September 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Griff.

    "Whats a Sprog?? Those that are still in 'Basic Training'.. Barack Obama never even passed his Meddical!!"

    September 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Patrick

    It's no wonder why CNN is so low in the ratings. You seem to be a network controlled by people in their 20s. ie. the piece on Jesse Ventura running for President and Howard Stern being his VP.

    CNN-you generally speaking have no depth, no seriousness, no critical thinking-all while there is so much serious things going on in the world that needs to be talked about. Prime Time garbage, that's why I change the channel!!

    September 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. nmkerns

    Those two are the biggest no-talent spares in the music industry.

    September 24, 2012 at 3:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
  16. john willow

    Test. You're blocking posts more than a couple sentences long, CNN.

    September 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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