After vowing not to participate in this year’s US presidential election, Bruce Springsteen says the candidates’ differences on LGBT rights and other issues has driven him to publicly endorse Barack Obama.

The Associated Press reports “The Boss” posted a message on his website last night endorsing Mr Obama’s re-election campaign and said he had been “getting asked a lot about where I stand.”

The rock legend is making his debut on the 2012 campaign trail with events on Wednesday in Cleveland and Iowa along with former President Bill Clinton.

Springsteen said he favours Mr Obama over Republican Mitt Romney because of the president’s views on the rights of women and gay people, ending the war in Iraq and his success in tracking down Osama bin Laden.

In his letter, Springsteen called Mr Obama’s four years in office “a really rough ride” because of the “economic chaos” from President George W. Bush’s administration.

“Right now, there is a fight going on to help make this a fairer and more equitable nation. For me, President Obama is our best choice to get us and keep us moving in the right direction,” Springsteen said.

The 63-year-old supported Mr Obama in 2008.

An LGBT campaign video for President Obama featuring Glee actress Jane Lynch, comedian Wanda Sykes, writer Chaz Bono and Star Trek actors George Takei and Zachary Quinto was broadcast on Tuesday.