Kelly Clarkson is backpedaling on tweets perceived to be an endorsement of Ron Paul, saying she never threw her support behind the candidate, despite writing “I love Ron Paul.”
“I liked him a lot during the last Republican nomination and no one gave him a chance," she Tweeted late last year. "If he wins the nomination for the Republican Party in 2012 he's got my vote. Too bad he probably won't."
Her tweets ignited a firestorm from critics who cited his newsletter controversy, wherein materials circulated by Paul in the 1980s and 90s included racist and homophobic remarks. The content of the newsletters was revealed during the 2008 election, but did not get as much attention until 2012, when he became a more formidable candidate.
But Clarkson tells Rolling Stone she was surprised at the reaction.
“I was hanging out with my brother and my little niece, playing Barbies, and Ron Paul comes on TV,” she said. “He doesn’t BS around anything. I was like, ‘This dude is refreshing.’ All I did was tweet what I thought, and people went crazy!”
“All of a sudden people were like, ‘You hate gay people’ – what? I didn’t even endorse him!” she added. “All I said was that I liked him.”
In December, following the firestorm of criticism, Clarkson apologized to her critics.
“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 tweeted after being lambasted online.
“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 also tweeted that she had, “never heard that Ron Paul is a racist or a homophobe."
But many of Clarkson’s fans stuck by the singer and she even gained some new ones in the process. Her record sales were even boosted on Amazon.com, according to Gossipcop.com.
Still, the singer said she is “not even hardcore Republican,” having voted for Barack Obama in 2008.