An open letter to my friends Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee

Dear Governors Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee.

Old friends, I’m in a bit of a pickle. I’m pretty sure that all three of you will be asking me to campaign for you somewhere along “the trail.” It will, in fact, hurt my feelings if you don’t. But if I choose one of you at the expense of the other two, there will be a lot of hurt feelings.

I do not want that.

So, here’s the deal, I will gladly hit the trail with you—– if you will agree that I can hit the trail with the other two.

If you are still reading this letter, let me address a couple of other things I will and will not do.

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First, I will sing a couple of songs and tell a funny story or two about our long friendship. Then, when I have the audience’s attention I will say, “Folks, do NOT vote for this man (long pause for emphasis) just because you like the song “All the Gold in California.” In fact friends and neighbors, I will NOT tell you to vote for this man at all. Do NOT vote for this man because anybody tells you to.

We “celebrity types” have unduly used our celebrity status to try to influence our fans to do this or that-from buying cars to trying out a new brand of underwear. And yes, we’ve even tried to tell you to vote for one of our friends.

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Well, folks, I will not do that. What I will ask you good folks to do is go find out what my friend did for his state.

Find out what he has fought against and battled to accomplish. Find out how he treated the “least among” as well as the “well to do” in the state where he governed them. And then, folks, if you believe in praying, say a prayer just before you step into a voting booth and perform one of the the most sacred duties that any human can perform: VOTE.

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And vote not because some country singer, Hollywood star, or other “celebrity type” told you to, but because you are not a low information voter, instead you have “studied up” on the man and the situation, and because you believe in your heart that the candidate of your choice will do what’s right. NO MATTER WHAT!!

In closing, folks I’m glad you do like “All the Gold in California,” I’m thankful that you have come to a lot of Gatlin Brother’s shows over the years to listen to our music, and I thank you for listening to me here today. God bless you and yours, and God Bless America.”

Well, old friends, if you are still reading this let me tell you what else I WILL do, and do gladly.

Jeb, I WILL stand beside you in an orange grove in Florida.

Rick, I WILL stand beside you in a feed lot in Texas.

Mike, I will stand beside you in a Walmart parking lot in Arkansas, and say in a loud voice to whoever’s listening, that I think you would be a GREAT president, and that it would be my honor and privilege to vote for you.

That’s my deal. It ain’t exactly King Solomon and that little deal about cutting a baby in two — well, some on the left side of the political spectrum appear to think that’s OK, but that’s another story for another time — but it’s the best deal I could come up with…and it’s the truth.

With great respect and gratitude for our friendships,


P. S. One more thing I will tell the folks LOUDLY and CLEARLY out on the “trail.” Folks, Columba, Anita, and Janet would be FANTASTIC first ladies.

Larry Gatlin is a country music singer and songwriter.