Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in a CNN interview that the fuss around Taylor Swift’s potential presidential endorsement shouldn’t overtake political discussions and that Swift is “allowed to have a boyfriend.”
The stance comes as drama around Swift, her NFL boyfriend, and the 2024 election have reached a conspiratorial crescendo.
Vivek Ramaswamy, a former Republican presidential candidate and current backer of former President Donald Trump, tweeted on Monday that he thinks the Kansas City Chiefs will win the 2024 Super Bowl. Swift’s current boyfriend, Travis Kelce, is the Chiefs’ tight end. He then thinks Swift and Kelce will endorse President Joe Biden in the upcoming election, boosted in profile by the victory next week that’s been fixed in advance by those in charge.
Swift has been tied to the Biden administration for months now, without any proof of collaboration. Her relationship with Kelce magnified the conspiracy, as he’s filmed ads for the COVID-19 vaccine, a longtime far-right bugaboo.
Ring wingers first been claiming Swift was working with Democrats to swing the 2024 election when she was named TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year.
Together, Swift and Kelce stand accused of being national psyop designed to steer the population toward Biden, something the Trump campaign has wholeheartedly endorsed. As reported by Rolling Stone earlier this week, Trump allies are plotting a “holy war” against Swift.
All this set the stage for CNN’s Jake Tapper to ask Haley, who is running against Trump in the 2024 primary, what she makes of the Swift vs. MAGA discourse.
“I don’t know what the obsession is. Taylor Swift is allowed to have a boyfriend. Taylor Swift is a good artist. I’ve taken my daughter to Taylor Swift concerts before,” Haley told CNN. “To have a conspiracy theory of all of this is bizarre. Nobody knows who she’s going to endorse. But I can’t believe that that’s overtaken our national politics.”
Reactions online to Haley’s comments varied, ranging from those enthusiastic about hopes for a Haley appearance at next Sunday’s Super Bowl to those who thought Haley’s comment about Swift further proved she’s “a Democrat,” a claim Trump supporters have long pushed.