All About GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Who Inspired Taylor Swift to Break Silence on Politics
Look what Marsha Blackburn made Taylor Swift do.
Inspired in part by her opposition to the Republican Senate candidate, Swift, 28, revealed her political views for the first time ever in a lengthy Instagram post Sunday. The pop star shared that she’d be voting Democratic in the Tennessee Senate race this November — and that she can’t abide by GOP nominee and current U.S. Rep Marsha Blackburn’s record on human rights.
“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,” the “Getaway Car” singer wrote alongside a Polaroid of herself. “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… 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.”
Swift went on to personally endorse Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and Democrat Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. She also encouraged young people to vote, no matter their political persuasion.
“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,” the musician said.
So who is Marsha Blackburn? And what does she stand for politically?
1. She’s currently in the House of Representatives and is the Republican nominee running for the Senate seat of retiring Sen. Bob Corker.
She started her political career in 1998 on the Tennessee State Senate and is now the congressional rep for Williamson County. Blackburn grew up in Laurel, Mississippi, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University. She has two children and two grandchildren.
2. She’s locked in a tight race for Senate with her Democratic competitor Phil Bredesen.
According to a CBS Poll whose results were published on Sunday, Blackburn has a 50 percent approval rating among registered voters in her state, compared to 42 percent for the former two-term governor. This is the largest lead a public poll has showed her having since the primary in early August. In past polls, they’ve been neck and neck.
Factoring in four other recent polls — two of which show Blackburn in the lead and two others that give Bredesen a slight edge — Real Clear Politics still characterizes the race as a toss up, with Blackburn up by 2.7 points.
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3. She’s too conservative to be considered a “mainstream” Republican.
Blackburn is farther right than President Trump on issues of immigration, calling for a “sealed” border. She also opposes same-sex marriage, rejects evolution, voted against equal pay, and was part of a House panel on fetal tissue research, which tried to prove that Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts illegally and take away its funding. (Planned Parenthood donates fetal tissue for medical research when abortion patients permit it and only accepts reimbursement for the expenses of its collection, according to Vox.com.)
In 2009, Blackburn sponsored legislation requiring presidential candidates to show their birth certificates — a bill that came in response to the false “birther” movement claiming then-President Obama is not a U.S. citizen.
In an October 2017 campaign video, Blackburn proudly said, “I know the left calls me a wing nut, or a knuckle-dragging conservative. And you know what? I say that’s all right, bring it on.”
4. She’s one of President Trump’s staunchest supporters in Congress.
Like the president, Blackburn presents herself as someone who “says it like it is” and describes herself as “politically incorrect and proud.” She stands with Trump on repealing the Affordable Care Act, his border wall and his feud with the NFL over kneeling during the national anthem. In May, Trump endorsed her, and she made his decision the focal point of her ad released in August.
5. The final debate between Bredesen and Blackburn will take place Wednesday at 8 p.m.
On Wednesday at Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy on the University of Tennessee campus, the two candidates will face off for the last time before the November 6th election. It will be broadcast statewide and on CSPAN. The first debate took place in late September. In it, Blackburn accused Breseden of having ties to Democrats in the Senate and emphasized her own relationship with Trump.