After music celebrity Taylor Swift launched a political tirade against Republican Senate candidate Martha Blackburn on Sunday, President Donald Trump said the pop star’s appeal has lost a little luster.
“Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now, OK?” Trump said Monday when asked about Swift’s comments.
Trump said Blackburn, currently a congresswoman from Tennessee, “is doing a very good job in Tennessee,” CNN reported.
“She’s leading now substantially, which she should. She’s a tremendous woman,” Trump added, according to a White House media pool report.
Trump said Swift was off key with the comments, made in an Instagram post that drew almost 2 million likes.
“I’m sure Taylor Swift has nothing — or doesn’t know anything” about Blackburn, Trump said.
The RealClear Politics average of polls gives Blackburn a 2.7 percentage point leaded over Democrat Phil Bredesen. Two of three existing polls showed Blackburn leading by five points. One, by CNN, showed the results reversed, with Bredesen holding a five-point advantage.
Swift framed Blackburn as anti-gay rights and anti-women. She said she would support Bredesen over Blackburn.
Swift opened her post with a summary of her political beliefs.
“I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love,” she wrote.
She then explained why she would not vote for Blackburn.
“Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry,” Swift wrote.
Although Blackburn’s campaign had no comment, Swift’s comments drew plenty of criticism from conservatives on social media.
Twitter, of course, erupted.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 9, 2018
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 8, 2018
The National Republican Senate Committee chuckled at Swift’s foray into politics.
According to Billboard, the NRSC response hit on Republican accusations that Bredesen’s administration mishandled sexual harassment complaints when he was in the governor’s office from 2003 to 2011. (The Washington Free Beacon covered the topic in a December piece, shortly after Bredesen announced for the Senate.)
“If you haven’t heard, multimillionaire pop star Taylor Swift came down from her ivory tower to tell hard-working Tennesseans to vote for Phil Bredesen,” said NRSC regional press secretary Michael McAdams, according to Billboard.
“Guess when it comes to letting sexual harassment get in the way of political gain, Taylor Swift’s attitude is to just shake it off…,” the NRSC said.