Kelly Clarkson endorses Ron Paul, suffers instant backlash
Original American Idol champ says she did not know of GOP presidential hopeful's alleged past homophobic and racist statements
Singer Kelly Clarkson took to Twitter earlier today (29 December) to share her enthusiasm over Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul and maybe now wishes she hadn't.
The first American Idol champion originally tweeted to her more than 925,000 followers: 'I love Ron Paul … 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.'
Although Paul, a congressman from Texas, is expected to do well in next week's Iowa Caucuses. In a CNN/Time poll released Wednesday, he had surged into a tie with Mitt Romney.
But his campaign has been dogged in recent days by racist and homophobic statements he allegedly made in the past.
Clarkson immediately began hearing from Twitter followers who mentioned newsletter articles from past decades credited to Paul who now disavows them.
Responding to comments that she is supporting a homophobe, Clarkson tweeted that she in now way endorses such views.
'I love all people and could care less if you like men or women," she wrote. 'I have never heard that Ron Paul is a racist or homophobe?'
She later added: '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. 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.'
The reaction by some of her followers was so heated that the Grammy winner finally wrote: 'Man my eyes have been opened to so much hate tonight. If y'all ever disagree with something I say please don't feel the need to attack me. … Being hateful is not a healthy way to get people to see or hear you. I was raised to respect people and their decisions and beliefs and I hope you will grant me the same decency.'