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From the day he announced his candidacy for president by descending down the golden escalator in Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, Donald Trump has been a galvanizing figure. Trump was considered a joke and a long shot to occupy the Oval Office until he summarily dispatched 16 establishment candidates during the Republican Primary and faced off against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Once again, Trump was given no chance to beat the former Secretary of State. Clinton was given a 91% chance to win the presidency by The New York Times less than a month before the election and a 71.4% chance by FiveThirtyEight. However, the media and pollsters greatly misconstrued Clinton's popularity and Trump's faux-populist messaging, and he ended election night by flipping blue states Democrats had held for years. Now on the eve of the 2020 election, Trump is once again the underdog, but the lessons of 2016 run deep. "Pollsters did not do a good job in 2016. So, if Donald Trump surprises people, if Joe Biden had a 5- or 6-point lead, my profession is done," Republican pollster Frank Luntz said (via Fox News).
Celebrities, just like they do with every presidential election, are using their platforms to urge their fans to vote for their preferred candidate. And much like the American electorate, celebrities either love Trump or they hate him for a multitude of reasons. Let's reach back and forth across the aisle to discuss how Hollywood feels about Donald Trump.
Kirstie Alley is still on the MAGA train
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Cheers and Look Who's Talking star Kirstie Alley isn't shy when it comes to her support for President Donald Trump. "I'm voting for @realDonaldTrump because he's NOT a politician. I voted for him 4 years ago for this reason and shall vote for him again for this reason. He gets things done quickly and he will turn the economy around quickly. There you have it folks there you have it," the Scientologist tweeted in mid-October 2020.
Naturally, users flooder her mentions criticizing her stance and calling her washed up. She saw those tweets and was not mused. "It makes me laugh when people say 'Oh, so you're trying to make your career relevant again by endorsing Trump!' Believe me the last words you'll hear in Hollywood are 'Steven darling, Grab that list of Trump voters! Let's get em in here and give em all jobs!!!," she tweeted.
Alley was one of the early celebrity supporters of Trump, tweeting her formal endorsement in 2016. "HELLO BOYS! this is my formal endorsement of @realDonaldTrump & I'm a woman! (last I checked) And Rudy, U R amazing!," she wrote, apparently referencing the media narrative at the time that women wouldn't vote him.
Chance The Rapper: Trump is an 'openly racist White Supremacist'
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President Trump caught some justifiable heat during his first debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden when the subject of white supremacy came up. "Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities?" debate moderator Chris Wallace asked the sitting president. Trump then asked Wallace to give him a group to condemn, but Biden chimed in, naming the far-right extremist group, The Proud Boys.
Trump responded by telling the group to "stand back and stand by!" then pivoting to his favorite subject. "Somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left," he continued. Trump drew sharp criticism for failing to outright condemn The Proud Boys and white supremacy in general. "I heard what we all heard: The president of the United States, in the year of our Lord 2020, refuses to condemn white supremacists," Biden's running mate Kamala Harris said on CNN.
Chance The Rapper watched the exchange as well and informed his followers that this is what the 2020 election is about. "The entire country has to make a decision as to whether it will continue to downplay the fact that our President is an openly racist White Supremacist and what that means for its citizens, or... VOTE HIM OUT," he tweeted.
50 Cent's support of Trump is affecting his love life
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50 Cent, the artist otherwise known as Curtis Jackson, posted a screen grab on Instagram from CNBC's Power Lunch showing speculative tax rates for wealthy individuals under Joe Biden's tax plan. He had thoughts. "WHAT THE F**K! (VOTE For TRUMP) IM OUT. F**K NEW YORK The KNICKS never win anyway," he captioned the photo. "I don't care Trump doesn't like black people 62% are you out of ya f******g mind."
Fox News later shared a tweet from Trump Sr. Advisor Katrina Pierson on the air that read, "I guess 50 Cent doesn't want to end up 20 cent," to which Jackson tweeted, "Yeah, i don't want to be 20cent. 62% is a very, very, bad idea. i don't like it!" He later posted a photo of himself smiling, with the caption: "I just remembered i'm bankrupt, so I'm looking for a gracious loan can anyone help a brother out. LOL."
While conservatives love 50 Cent's endorsement of Trump, his ex-girlfriend Chelsea Handler tweeted, "You used to be my favorite ex-boyfriend" under the Fox News clip he shared. "Oh my God this is effecting my love life now," 50 Cent responded, "I love ya Gator, don't let Trump and Joe Biden come between us girl."
Jennifer Lawrence: Trump 'does not represent my values as an American'
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During a 2020 episode on the Absolutely Not podcast, Jennifer Lawrence admitted that she used to be "a little Republican" and voted for John McCain over Barack Obama in 2008 due to growing up in a conservative household. She eventually saw the Republican stance on "social issues weren't in line with [her] views," but once Trump was elected, she quit the GOP cold turkey. "This is an impeached president, who's broken many laws and has refused to condemn white supremacy, and it feels like there has been a line drawn in the sand," the Hunger Games star continued.
Later that month, Lawrence officially endorsed the Democratic ticket in V Magazine. "Voting is the foundation of our democracy and our freedom. And I would consider this upcoming election the most consequential of our lifetime. I'm voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this year because Donald Trump has and will continue to put himself before the safety and well-being of America. He does not represent my values as an American, and most importantly as a human beings."
Lawrence was already leaning this way during the 2016 presidential election by saying (via The Guardian), "if Donald Trump is president of the United States, it will be the end of the world. And he's also the best thing to happen to the Democrats ever."
Kid Rock: Trump 'way cooler' than Obama
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Kid Rock is a Trump supporter, and he doesn't really care who knows it. The Detroit-based rocker has been a staunch supporter of Trump since 2015 and hasn't slowed down in the run-up to the 2020 election. He headlined a Trump campaign rally in Michigan and was a special guest of the 45th president during his second debate with Joe Biden. "You should probably hit record on your phone right now, because g*****n fake media will say it didn't happen," Kid Rock told the crowd at a Michigan rally (via The Hill).
Not only is Kid Rock an ardent supporter, he routinely plays golf with Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., and he was present at The White House when Trump signed a music copyright bill. "There's a whole lot of people in this country that do give you a lot of credit for everything you've been doing for this country," Rock told Trump during the signing ceremony (via The Hill). "We know that some people don't give it to you as much as maybe they should sometimes."
During one of his many golf outings with Trump, Rock told the media his impression of Trump after spending time with him. "I've been privileged to be around pretty much all living presidents from Carter up, and I always thought Obama was about the coolest because he's cool," he said (via Springfield News-Leader). "I don't agree with his politics but he's very cool. Like Trump smoked him, he's way cooler."
Jim Gaffigan says Trump is 'a traitor'
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When you think of comedian Jim Gaffigan, you probably think about Hot Pockets before political activism. But after hearing Trump's RNC speech, Gaffigan felt he could no longer stay silent. "Look Trumpers I get it. As a kid I was a cubs fan and I know you stick by your team no matter what but he's a traitor and a con man who doesn't care about you. Deep down you know it. I'm sure you enjoy pissing people off but you know Trump is a liar and a criminal," he tweeted.
The Super Troopers star took his message even further in a lengthy Facebook post. "I think Trump is ruining and possibly has already ruined my country. For me this isn't a debate about the size of government, taxes, health care or even abortion. I miss the days when those were the topics I would discuss with friends. I feel a responsibility to coming generations, my children but selfishly I didn't want to explain to my grandchildren that I didn't fight to stop Trump."
Gaffigan then alleged that Trump supporters ignore his disastrous policies and his handling of the pandemic because "he is THEIR guy" and nothing else matters to them: "More importantly he's 'THEIR president' and disagreeing with them is a personal insult. For many Trump voters this isn't about any other issue except Trump himself. To me that is not only weird but kind of scary."
The First Step Act made Isaiah Washington a Trump supporter
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Former Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington told Fox Nation's Nuff Said that he was part of the #WalkAway movement, a social media campaign designed to encourage people to leave the Democratic Party. "Walking away ... is a sacrifice, it's a risk, and there's a penalty for it," he said (via The Hill)," adding that "the reason why I've chosen to walk away from the Democratic Party as I know it ... is that something doesn't feel right."
He also revealed that Trump invited him to the White House to celebrate the signing of the First Step Act, a move towards "transforming federal prisons into safe and effective facilities that will reduce recidivism and strengthen our communities and economy" and that "reduces and clarifies mandatory minimums and better provides for the needs of federal prisoners." Washington specifically mentioned the lack of progress for Black people under Democratic governments. "If I look at the political image of the Democratic Party over the last 50 years of my life since I was 5, and very little has changed for my community, then I have some questions — more than questions," he said.
Washington also claimed that although he voted for Obama, the former president didn't address Black issues, but Trump had. "I voted for 44 twice," he tweeted. "Not once in 8 years was I given any support regarding Africa or the Black Agenda, but 45 invites me to the WH to celebrate the #FirstStepAct."
Mark Ruffalo: Trump is 'public enemy number one'
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Even though Avengers star Mark Ruffalo is vocal environmental activist and prominent Bernie Sanders supporter, it was still surprising for him to sling harsh words at President Trump while promoting his film Dark Waters. In the film, Ruffalo plays a defense attorney who took on the DuPont corporation over a toxic chemical substance being put in West Virginia's water supply, and the actor sees Trump as a danger to the environment.
"I think the world should consider my president as public enemy number one at this point," he told Sky News during press for the film, adding, "What we do probably in the next 10 years will be crucial to the future of the planet. And this is only going to become more and more evident to us — we're not going backwards from here. And, yeah, it's not just this story. This is a system."
During his second debate with Biden, Trump claimed that immigrant children at the border are "so well taken care of" despite a report that revealed parents of 545 children separated from their parents cannot be found. Ruffalo, who was live-tweeting the debate, let his thoughts be known on Trump's answer. "They have lost their parents! How can they be well taken care of? They are in f**king prisons, they are not "WELL TAKEN CARE OF". It's an atrocity. It's sick and it's a sin," he wrote.
James Woods: Trump is America's 'last stand'
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There's celebrity Trump supporters and then there's James Woods. The Videodrome and Ghosts of Mississippi actor keeps a viable presence on Twitter where he posts about Trump pretty much daily. In the summer of 2020, Woods tweeted a photo of Trump in the Oval Office with the caption, "This is our last stand, folks. And here's your last defender. If they take him down, America is gone forever. Vote for @realDonaldTrump like your life depends on it."
In 2018, Woods made it clear what made him such a staunch supporter of the 45th president. "I voted in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. Like so many I didn't vote FOR Donald Trump, so much as AGAINST Hillary Clinton. We are now astonished at what Trump has accomplished in so short a time. Millions voted as I did. Now we will be voting FOR Trump in 2020, and deservedly so," he tweeted.
Woods also routinely bashes liberals who hate Trump. "I have a liberal friend, a very intelligent man, who hates Donald Trump. He hates him with the kind of insane fervor only a jilted lover could express. I'm genuinely interested in why people who hate him, hate him so fervently," he tweeted. According to Fox News, Woods has had his Twitter account suspended multiple times for alleged policy violations regarding "abusive behavior." He vowed to quit the platform but has since returned.
Taylor Swift will never, ever ever vote for Trump
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Taylor Swift remained politically neutral for her entire career, but that all changed during Donald Trump's presidency. The "Cardigan" singer is now an unabashed political activist who recently slammed the 45th president for his tweets about the protests and riots in the wake of George Floyd's death while in custody of Minneapolis police.
Trump suggested he would crack down on the unrest by sending in the National Guard to "get the job done right," but it was his following comment that Twitter flagged for glorifying violence — and also drew the ire of Swift: "Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Swift didn't hold back, tweeting: "After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? 'When the looting starts the shooting starts'??? We will vote you out in November."
Trump later refused additional funding requested by the USPS due to his unfounded claims of mail-in vote fraud. Swift fired back in a tweet thread claiming that "Trump's calculated dismantling of USPS" is because "He is WELL AWARE that we do not want him as our president" so he has to "blatantly cheat" to remain in power. "Donald Trump's ineffective leadership gravely worsened the crisis that we are in and he is now taking advantage of it to subvert and destroy our right to vote and vote safely," she continued. "Request a ballot early. Vote early."