This calls for double devil horns, y’all: Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine just came out in support of GOP candidate Rick Santorum for president. One thing’s for sure: Mitt Romney’s sweating bullets.

Besides locking up the crucial strict constructionist shredder vote, Mustaine stands to bring over at least, oh, 20 or 30 libertarian heshers who might otherwise have been scared off by Santorum’s dad-ly maroon sweater vests. In between jabs at Mitt Romney’s largesse and Newt Gingrich’s “angry little man” persona, Mustaine had some surprisingly sentimental, un-metal reasons for choosing Santorum:

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. 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.

Sick Rick can rest assured that born-again Christian Mustaine’s conservative bona fides run deeper and truer than his epic solo on “Five Magics“:

  • On immigration: “If I were president of the United States, I’d build a great wall along the Mexican border and not let anybody in.”
  • On Obama: “The most divisive president we’ve ever had. I’ve never, in my 50 years of being alive, listened to an American president try and turn one class of people against another class of people.”
  • On the U.N.: Megadeth’s 2007 album “United Abominations” took potshots at the organization with tracks like “Washington is Next!” and “Amerkhastan.”

There’s one bummer tune for Santorum, though: Mustaine reportedly voted for Clinton in 1992. Maybe he can make it up to Rick by authorizing “Skin o’ My Teeth” as the official Santorum campaign song.

UPDATE: Uh-oh … looks like Mustaine underestimated the attention he’d get for backing Santorum (so did we — it’s not like he’s James Hetfield). Now he’s backpedaling in an official statement (likely written in infant blood):

Contrary to how some people have interpreted my words, I have not endorsed any presidential candidate,” the rocker said in a release after earlier reports had him backing Republican Rick Santorum on Wednesday. “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.’

Despite Mustaine’s liquid interpretation of the meaning “endorse,” if there’s one lesson here, it’s for Santorum: Always go with Slayer.