Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is being sued by the co-writer of the song "Eye of the Tiger" after the song was used at a rally that the former governor spoke at when Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis was released from jail back in September. Davis spent a week in jail after refusing a judge's order to issue marriage licenses, including to same-sex couples.
The former Arkansas governor told ABC News in Iowa that he was stunned by the lawsuit.
“The lawsuit makes it sound like I went and picked out music to say 'hey, play this song,' and obviously that didn’t happen," Huckabee said.
Huckabee said his campaign made an effort to avoid the lawsuit, but believes the plaintiff in the suit, Rude Music Inc., which is owned by the guitarist Frankie Sullivan of the band "Survivor," is trying to get publicity off of this.
"When the person made a complaint, there was an offer made to pay him and issue an apology," said the presidential candidate, who continues to struggle in the polls and was demoted to the undercard debate in Milwaukee. "We don’t want to run somebody’s music who hates my guts. I get that."
The lawsuit alleges that the Kentucky rally where Huckabee called Davis "incredibly brave" and told the crowd "we cannot criminalize the Christian faith" was a campaign appearance and that Huckabee himself allowed the Grammy award-winning song to be played. Huckabee said he wonders whether Sullivan has something against conservatives.
"Unfortunately, this person seems to be more interested in suing us for an amount of money more than the average American worker makes in a year and it just seems a very vindictive and almost unbelievable kind of thing to do," Huckabee told ABC New on Thursday at a campaign event in Centerville, Iowa.
A representative for Sullivan declined comment today to ABC News.
The 1982 song "Eye of the Tiger" is famous for being the theme to the movie "Rocky III" and is often played at sporting events.