Megadeth founder comes out for Santorum

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth performs at the Aragon Ballroom on Friday in Chicago.

It is doubtful that Rick Santorum has the thrash metal vote sewed up.

But Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine, the former practitioner of black magic who once sang that “killing is my business” — yes, that Dave Mustaine — has endorsed the conservative Catholic presidential hopeful, according to an interview published by the website MusicRadar.

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Mustaine, who was unceremoniously fired from the band Metallica in 1983, said he was touched by the concern Santorum showed for his daughter Bella, who suffers from the genetic disorder Trisomy 18.

“Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable,” Mustaine was quoted as saying.

“Also, just watching how he hasn't gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney's done against Newt Gingrich, and then the volume at which Newt has gone back at Romney… 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."

Though he has long been a practitioner of the extreme genre thrash metal, Mustaine first indicated that he was a born again Christian a decade ago, canceling a show with the band Rotting Christ and refusing to play songs such as the Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the UK because of the anti-Christian views they express.

Santorum may or may not need Mustaine’s support. Most polls now show him leading his main rival Mitt Romney nationwide. In a Quinnipiac survey conducted between Feb 7 and Feb 12, Santorum led Romney 36 percent to 29 percent in the key state of Ohio, according to CBS News.

However CBS noted that Obama beats both candidates in the state, running 46 percent to 44 percent against Romney and 47 percent to 41 percent against Santorum.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly described Megadeth as a death metal band.