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US Politics

Is he joking? Donald Trump likes Taylor Swift’s music ‘25 per cent less now’ after she endorsed Democrat

Taylor Swift’s decision to break her silence on politics triggers a storm

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 8:57am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 8:57am

US President Donald Trump said he liked pop superstar Taylor Swift’s music “about 25 per cent less” after her endorsement of the Democrat in Tennessee’s Senate race.

The Bad Blood singer backed Phil Bredesen on Sunday for the upper house in her home state, and unleashed a fierce attack on his opponent, Republican Marsha Blackburn, who currently serves in the House.

The president was asked for his reaction to the snub and told reporters at the White House he was “sure Taylor Swift doesn’t know anything” about Blackburn.

“Let’s say that I like Taylor’s music about 25 per cent less now, OK?” Trump added, flashing what could best be described as a cheeky grin.

Trump, it should be noted, has form going back years as something of a Swifty.

“Glad to hear that @taylorswift13 will be co-hosting the Grammy nominations special on 12.5. Taylor is terrific!” he tweeted breathlessly in October 2012.

In August of that year, addressing her directly, he swooned: “Thanks for the beautiful picture – you are fantastic!”

The singer tends to stay above the political fray, but told her 112 million Instagram followers on Sunday she felt she needed to speak out ahead of the midterm elections in November.

View this post on Instagram

I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. 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. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha 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. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Oct 7, 2018 at 4:33pm PDT

“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appals and terrifies me,” the 28-year-old said.

“She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape.”

Last year, Swift won a lawsuit against a former radio DJ she accused of groping her.

Swift’s comments got 1.5 million likes on her Instagram page. But they enraged many conservatives, especially those in the country music community where Swift got her start as a teenager and went on to win 10 Grammys.

“What I used to love about Taylor Swift is she stayed away from politics,” Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative non-profit student organisation Turning Point, said on Fox News television on Monday.

Some sought to play down Swift’s influence outside her predominantly young girl fan base.

“So @taylorswift13 has every right to be political but it won’t impact election unless we allow 13 yr old girls to vote,” tweeted former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who twice sought the Republican presidential nomination.

Additional reporting by Reuters