Republicans wasted no time in responding to Taylor Swift's surprise endorsement of Democratic candidates in Tennessee. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, an official campaign arm dedicated to electing GOP senators, issued a press release Monday hitting the singer as an out-of-touch elitist and hypocritical for her support of former Tennessee governor, Phil Bredesen, the Democratic nominee to replace retiring GOP senator Bob Corker.
"If you haven’t heard, multimillionaire pop star Taylor Swift came down from her ivory tower to tell hardworking Tennesseans to vote for Phil Bredesen," sniped NRSC regional press secretary Michael McAdams.
The NRSC attempts to paint Swift as hypocritical for her support of Bredesen, whose administration has been accused of mishandling sexual harassment claims inside state government while he was governor more than a decade ago. The issue has been a main line of attack for national Republicans as well as Bredesen's GOP opponent, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
Swift's decision to dip into politics comes more than a year after she won a high-profile legal battle against a former radio DJ whom she accused of groping her at a 2013 meet-and-greet. Her endorsement also follows close on the heels of the divisive and razor-thin confirmation process of now-Justice Bret Kavanaugh, who was accused by several women of sexual misconduct. Incidentally, Bredesen has indicated he would have voted to confirm Kavanaugh had he been a member of the Senate already.
"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.
Swift delivered her endorsement of Bredesen, as well as Democratic House candidate Jim Cooper, in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday, urging her fans to get engaged in the political process ahead of the midterm election and saying that Blackburn's voting record "appalls and terrifies" her.
"In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions," Swift wrote, "but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now."
She continued, "I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. 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."
Both Bredesen and Cooper have since thanked Swift for her endorsements. Blackburn has not issued a comment.