CBS/AP October 8, 2018, 12:10 AM Taylor Swift breaks political silence to support Tennessee Democrats
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Music superstar Taylor Swift announced Sunday to her 112 million Instagram followers she's voting for Tennessee's Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, breaking her long-standing refusal to discuss anything politics. The 28-year-old has faced criticism in the past for not speaking about political issues despite having a global platform.
"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," Swift wrote in an Instagram post.
In 2017, Swift appeared on the cover of Time magazine as one of the "silence breakers" for her countersuit against a radio DJ who was fired after allegedly groping her before a concert. Swift won the lawsuit in a verdict that awarded her $1, which according to the suit served as "an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts."
The pop star — who grew up in later years in Tennessee — also slammed Republican candidate and U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn in her lengthy post Sunday, citing Blackburn's opposition to certain LGBTQ rights and voting against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.
"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," Swift wrote. "These are not MY Tennessee values."
Blackburn's campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.
Swift said she's not only voting for the former Tennessee governor for Senate, but also Democrat Jim Cooper for the House.
However, Swift didn't acknowledge Bredesen's recent endorsement of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but said people may never find a candidate or party with whom they agree completely on every issue.
"Thank you for the kind words … I'm honored to have your support and that of so many Tennesseans who are ready to put aside the partisan shouting and get things done. We're ready for it," Bredesen tweeted Sunday in response to Swift's post.
On Instagram, Swift told her fans to register to vote and to "educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values.
She added: "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."
Ed O'Keefe contributed to this report.