Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley officially launched her 2024 presidential campaign to the tune of Survivor’s enduring smash hit ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ but the band’s guitarist wants her to stop using the song.
Survivor guitarist and ‘Eye of the Tiger’ co-writer, Frank Sullivan, found out that Haley had used his Academy Award nominated song when his phone started “exploding” on Wednesday.
He initially was worried that his 89-year-old mother’s health had taken a turn, but soon learned that Survivor’s 1982 hit was trending on Twitter and knew somebody must have been using it.
Sullivan found out that Haley had used the song, which is has long been an anthem for competitors who are hungry for the win, as she took the stage announce her bid for the presidency at a rally in Charleston, South Carolina.
He told the Daily Mail that he had not approved of the former GOP governor strutting on stage to ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ and has historically not allowed lawmakers to use the tune.
“I would never let a f–king politician use that song because entertainment and politics don’t mix,” he remarked.
He has previously gone after other politicians for their unsanctioned use of the song, which was written for “Rocky III” at the request of franchise star Sylvester Stallone.
Sullivan filed legal challenges against Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich in 2012, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in 2016, for playing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ at their rallies without seeking the band’s authorization. Both suits were settled out of court.
He also insisted that then GOP candidates Mitt Romney and former President Donald Trump cease and desist playing the song on the campaign trail in 2015.
Survivor never filed lawsuits against either politician, as Romney agreed to remove the song from his campaign playlist and Trump, who he described as “very affable,” stopped when the band asked him to.
Sullivan said that he wants the footage of Haley’s rally removed from YouTube, which he acknowledged would be a difficult task.
“Get it down,” he insisted. “I don’t want it up there. It’s up on YouTube. I didn’t look but I know. I’m sure it is.”
Despite the fact that every politician who has tried to use the song without permission had been running for president as a Republican, Sullivan’s reluctance to allow it’s usage equally extends to Democrats.
“No, f–k them. Write their own [music],” he stated. “Half of them don’t know what the hell to do, why don’t they try writing songs?”
“They’ll probably be lousy songs but they won’t be any lousier than the way they run everything else,” he jabbed.
“They don’t belong going anywhere near Eye of the Tiger,” Sullivan concluded. “That song stays with the Rocky franchise.”
If Haley relents and stops using the early eighties’ fight song, she’ll get a “slap on the wrist. And then it all goes away.”
But if the former U.S. ambassador persists, the Survivor guitarist has clearly proven that he’s not afraid to pursue legal action.
During Wednesday’s rally, Haley called for “a new generation of leadership,” and took shots at aging lawmakers.
“America is not past our prime, it’s just that our politicians are past theirs,” she said during her inaugural campaign speech.
“We won’t win the fight for the 21st century if we keep trusting politicians from the 20th century.”
“I have a particular message for my fellow Republicans. We’ve lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections,” Haley remarked.
“Our cause is right. But we have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans. Well, that ends today.”
She also called for politicians over the age of 75 to take mandatory “mental competency tests” prior to running for office. Trump and President Joe Biden are 76 and 80 respectively.
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” Haley went on. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
She targeted Biden for “not leading at all” and allowing America’s future to slip on his watch.
“No one embodies that failure more than Joe Biden,” Haley attacked. “Joe Biden isn’t leading from behind. He’s not leading at all.”
“On his watch, a terrorist mob conquered Afghanistan and killed our troops. Iran is on the brink of getting the bomb,” she cited.
“North Korea is launching more missiles than ever. Russia started the biggest war in Europe in 75 years. And in Communist China, we face the strongest and most disciplined enemy in history.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) called Haley “Bush in heels,” in a scathing tweet on Wednesday, which attacked the former governor’s record on border and transgender policies.
“Nikki Haley is just another George (or Jeb!) Bush,” Taylor Green posted.
She is weak on the border, doesn’t want a wall, claimed “Legal Immigrants are more patriotic than most Americans these days,” and she defended Obama when Pres. Trump criticized his terrible open-borders policy.”
“And Nikki Haley refused to support a transgender bathroom bill to protect children,” she continued.
“If we wanted a “Bush in heels,”Republicans would vote for Liz Cheney.”
Meanwhile, Trump told Fox News Digital that he was “glad” Haley entered the race, even though she promised in 2021 that she would “not run” if announced his 2024 candidacy.
“I’m glad she’s running,” he said. “I want her to follow her heart — even though she made a commitment that she would never run against who she called the greatest president of her lifetime.”
“She should do what she wants to do and not be bound by the fact that she said she would never do it.”
He’s not concerned about the extra competition in the slightest.
“I’m leading in every poll by a lot — both Republican and Democrat alike,” he boasted. “We’re going to make America great again.”
He noted that most of his competition in the GOP primary “would be nothing without me, but I want them to do what they want to do.”
“They will tell you we had the most successful presidency, perhaps, ever.”
“But these are very ambitious people and I understand exactly where they’re coming from,” Trump concluded. “The more the merrier.”