Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift hasn’t even endorsed President Joe Biden for reelection yet. That hasn’t stopped members of MAGAland’s upper crust from plotting to declare — as one source close to Donald Trump calls it — a “holy war” on the pop megastar, especially if she ends up publicly backing the Democrats in the 2024 election.
According to three people familiar with the matter, Trump loyalists working on or close to the former president’s campaign, longtime Trump allies in right-wing media, and an array of outside advisers to the ex-president have long taken it as a given that Swift will eventually endorse Biden (as she did in 2020). Indeed, several of these Republicans and conservative media figures have discussed the matter with Trump over the past few months, the sources say.
While Swift has not yet issued an endorsement in the 2024 race, The New York Times reported Monday that Swift is a key name on Biden aides’ “wish lists of potential surrogates.” A potential Swift appearance at Super Bowl LVIII alongside her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, has already prompted the MAGA right’s culture-war pugilists into a conspiracy-fueled froth about how this NFL season has been rigged to boost Biden.
Behind the scenes, Trump has reacted to the possibility of Biden and Swift teaming up against him this year not with alarm, but with an instant projection of ego. In recent weeks, the former president has told people in his orbit that no amount of A-list celebrity endorsements will save Biden. Trump has also privately claimed that he is “more popular” than Swift and that he has more committed fans than she does, a person close to Trump and another source with knowledge of the matter tell Rolling Stone.
Last month, the source close to Trump adds, the ex-president commented to some confidants that it “obviously” made no sense that he was not named Time magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year — an honor that went to none other than Swift in December.
In an email to Rolling Stone, Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller shrugged off the prospect of a Swift endorsement for Trump’s rival. “Joe Biden might be counting on Taylor Swift to save him, but voters are looking at these sky-high inflation rates and saying, ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,’” Miller wrote.
The former president has already taken public swipes at Swift because of her endorsement of two Tennessee Democrats running during the 2018 midterms. “I like Taylor’s music about 25 percent less now,” Trump said following the pop singer’s statement.
Swift also blasted Trump during the 2020 election, accusing him of trying to “blatantly cheat and put millions of Americans’ lives at risk” following the Trump administration’s efforts to hinder mail-in voting amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, as Trump has been having a popularity contest with Swift in his own head, others close to him — including GOP operatives, some of his 2024 staff, and Trump-y media figures — have been brainstorming different ways to go after Swift. Since late last year, these Trump allies have repeatedly discussed how to turn the culture-warrior dial up to 11 if she re-endorses Biden this year, the sources recount.
“It would be more fuel thrown onto the culture-war fires,” says an official working on the Trump reelection efforts. “Another left-wing celebrity who is part of the Democrat elite telling you what to think.”
Publicly, members of Trump’s inner sanctum and social circle are already signaling Swift’s prominent position atop their enemies list — a situation that has reached fever pitch now that Swift’s boyfriend will once again be playing in the Super Bowl.
On Monday, Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba shared a post on social media that includes the caption: “Who thinks this country needs a lot more women like Alina Habba, and a lot less like Taylor Swift?” (Habba has represented Trump in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case, where he was ordered to pay $83 million.)
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro — who’s acted as an informal political adviser to Trump, including during his presidency — warned Swift to stay out of 2024: “Don’t get involved. Don’t get involved in politics; we don’t want to see you there,” the Fox host said. “Joe Biden is in [a] hole with young people, he knows it. And if he thinks Taylor can get him out of that hole, he’s gonna go for it.”
Former GOP presidential hopeful and current Trump hype man Vivek Ramaswamy took to Twitter following the latest Chiefs’ playoff win to claim that unnamed forces would rig the Super Bowl to give the as-yet nonexistent endorsement from the “artificially culturally propped-up couple” increased visibility.
MAGA pundits have spent months fuming about Swift and her boyfriend — already a hated figure for his role as a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine spokesman.
During a rant in November about the GOP’s losses across a string of state elections and abortion-related ballot initiatives, Turning Point USA founder and Trump ally Charlie Kirk warned that Swift was “going to come out in the presidential election” and “mobilize her fans,” adding that “all the Swifties want is swift abortion.” Fox News host and Trump buddy Jesse Watters declared Swift a potential “Pentagon psyop” and “a front for a covert political agenda” during a segment earlier this month.
Others working to put Trump back in the White House say that the liberal celebs can bring it on.
“Since Biden is so weak, they need others to shore up his credibility. Won’t matter [since] his disapproval is driving the race. Voters aren’t fools,” John McLaughlin, a top pollster for Trump, says, in response to Rolling Stone’s questions regarding Swift. “Celeb endorsements of Biden are like donating to Nikki Haley. They are a means of virtue signaling. It’s like wearing a medical mask in public after Covid.… Celebrities can endorse Biden, but it doesn’t lower inflation, stop wars, fix the border, or lower crime. Biden’s job approval still sucks. So Trump is still winning and will win.”
Spokespeople for Swift and Trump did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s requests for comment on this story.
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