Kelly Clarkson’s endorsement of Republican Ron Paul for president has put her at odds with many of her fans. Many have criticized her because Paul is perceived to be racist and homophobic.
Clarkson, who won the very first “American Idol” competition, is now facing the first public relations crisis of her career. How could she be so out of touch with her fans?
“I love Ron Paul,” she wrote on her Twitter and WhoSay pages. “I liked him a lot during the last republican nomination and no one gave him a chance.”
“If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he’s got my vote. Too bad he probably won’t,” she added.
Paul’s appeal is his libertarian slant. He favors a very limited central government. But he’s become controversial over a series of newsletters he sent out in the 1980s with racist and homophobic messages. Clarkson was bombarded with complaints on Twitter, and did her best to backtrack.
“I am really sorry if I have offended anyone. Obviously that was not my intent. I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, white/black/purple/orange rights,” she wrote.
“I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people (all of us) make the decisions and mold our country. That is all. Out of all of the Republican nominees, he’s my favorite.”
Clarkson later professed ignorance of Paul’s background.
“I have never heard that he’s a racist? I definitely don’t agree with racism, that’s ignorant.” She told another that, “I love all people and could care less if you like men or women. I have never heard that Ron Paul is a racist or homophobe?” she wrote to one fan.
She told fans if they don’t like her beliefs to unfollow her on social media. “It’s really that easy,” she wrote.
“I hope you don’t because I would love the chance to hear what you have to say but if you’re so blinded by hate you can’t seek peace and progress then that is your unfortunate prerogative.”
Paul is a Congressman who represents Texas’s 14th congressional district, an area south and southwest of Houston that includes Galveston.
In his newsletters, written in the first person, he decried creating a national holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. “Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman,” he wrote.
He also suggested that African Americans were “animals” and encouraged his constitutes to arm themselves. “I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming,” he wrote.
In another article he wrote: “Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”