GOP's Focus on Taylor Swift and NFL Could Backfire, Says Priebus
In a recent discussion on ABC News's "This Week," former RNC Chair Reince Priebus criticized the Republican strategy of targeting pop icon Taylor Swift and the NFL, labeling it as "a powder keg of stupidity."
The commentary comes in the wake of a New York Times report suggesting the Biden campaign is actively seeking Swift's endorsement to captivate young voters ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
This has spurred a flurry of conspiracy theories among right-wing circles, alleging Swift's involvement in political maneuvering to support President Biden's re-election.
Priebus expressed concern that these tactics could alienate potential GOP supporters, emphasizing the widespread popularity of Swift and the NFL.
"You're talking about two of the most popular things in America right now. And we've got a party that wants to, you know, grow the tent. I don't think attacking those two - Taylor Swift and the NFL - is obviously the way to go," Priebus remarked, suggesting that such divisive strategies could backfire on the Republican Party's efforts to broaden its base.
The conjecture surrounding Swift's political influence gained traction following a Rolling Stone article, which indicated that Trump's allies would wage a "holy war" against Swift if she publicly endorsed Biden. Priebus, however, downplayed the potential impact of Swift's political stance on voter behavior.
"Even if she does take a political position - she doesn't like Trump, fine - that's not going to change, I don't think, anyone's votes in November," he stated, cautioning against the propagation of unfounded conspiracy theories.
Vivek Ramaswamy, a notable Republican figure and former presidential candidate who has thrown his support behind Trump, has been among the most vocal in spreading theories about the NFL rigging games in favor of Swift's partner, Travis Kelce, to curry favor with the Democrats. Despite these allegations, Priebus pointed out that the backlash against Swift is largely driven by "people on the internet" rather than the Republican electorate at large.
As the political landscape continues to evolve, Priebus's comments highlight the internal debate within the Republican Party regarding the efficacy and ethics of targeting cultural figures like Swift in political discourse. With the 2024 election on the horizon, the GOP faces the challenge of crafting a strategy that resonates with a broad spectrum of voters without alienating key demographics attracted to popular cultural icons.