Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has issued the following statement to clarify reports that he has endorsed Rick Santorum for president:

"Contrary to how some people have interpreted my words, I have not endorsed any presidential candidate. What I did say was that I hope to see a Republican in the White House. I've seen good qualities in all the candidates but by no means have made my choice yet. I respect the fact that Santorum took time off from his campaign to be with his sick daughter, but I never used the word 'endorse.'"

The story started yesterday, Feb. 14, when MusicRadar.com posted the following Mustaine comment from an interview the site did with the Megadeth singer: "You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I'm hoping that if it does come down to it, we'll see a Republican in the White House ... and that it's Rick Santorum."

"I'm just hoping that whatever is in the White House next year is a Republican," Mustaine explained in the same interview. "I can't bear to watch what's happened to our great country. Everybody's got their head in the sand. Everybody in the industry is like, 'Oh, Obama's doing such a great job ...' I don't think so. Not from what I see."

Since it went live yesterday morning, the interview has sparked heated debates all over the Internet and within the heavy metal community. As of press time, Santorum hasn't responded to Mustaine's comments.

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