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Silversun Pickups Blast Mitt Romney for Using Their Song

Mitt Romney, Brian Aubert, The Silversun Pickups Bill Pugliano/Getty Images; Jeff Fusco/Getty Images

Mitt Romney should start hoping that there aren't too many Silversun Pickups fans in the swing states.

The alternative rockers sent a cease and desist letter to the Romney campaign today, demanding that he stop playing their song "Panic Switch" at events and stating in no uncertain terms that, even if Romney had asked permission, their politics don't mix.

"We don't like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don't like the Romney campaign," frontman Brian Aubert said in a statement to E! News.

Did the stars align behind Mitt Romney's pick for vice president?

"We're nice, approachable people. We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that 'Panic Switch' really sends the message he intends."

But how do you really feel, sir?

"Seems as if the GOP is once again whimsically ignoring our great nation's laws to do whatever it wants to do, and shooting itself in the foot in the process," added a rep for the band.

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Romney certainly isn't the first Republican presidential candidate to tick off an artist that leans further to the left.

In their cease and desist letter, the Silversun Pickups' attorney refers to Jackson Browne's lawsuit against Sen. John McCain in 2008 for playing "Running on Empty" at a campaign stop. (And the ire runs both ways—Sam Moore wanted Barack Obama to stop using "Soul Man" in 2008, as well.)

"As a result, the Ohio Republican Party and the [Republican National Committee] apologized for misusing the [Browne] song," wrote lawyer Tamara Milagros-Butler. "They 'pledged in future election campaigns to respect and uphold the rights of artists and to obtain permissions and/or licenses for copyrighted works where appropriate.'

What went down between Roseanne Barr and Ann Romney?

"Mr. Romney, it's appropriate here, so we'd appreciate it if you'd get on board with your party," she wrote.

And it turns out Romney is just fine with that.

Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul wrote in an email to USA Today that "Panic Switch" just happened to be played while they were setting up for an appearance in North Carolina and that the Silversun Pickups must have heard about it via Twitter.

"As anyone who attends Gov. Romney's events knows, this is not a song we would have played intentionally," she wrote. "That said, it was covered under the campaign's regular blanket license, but we will not play it again." Saul noted that they have licensing deals with ASCAP and BMI.

Hollywood loves to mix it up Beltway-style sometimes

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