When musician Kid Rock publicly suggested this summer that he might run for Senate as a Republican in Michigan, skeptics naturally wondered whether he was instead engaged in a self-promotional marketing stunt.
And on Tuesday, Kid Rock — whose real name is Robert Ritchie — confirmed that this was indeed the case. “Fuck no, I’m not running for Senate!” he said on Howard Stern’s radio show. “Are you fucking kidding me? Like, who fucking couldn’t figure that out!”
He elaborated: “Fuck no — are you fucking shitting me?”
It’s a testament to the aftershock of Donald Trump’s victory that a Kid Rock bid against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) ever seemed even slightly plausible. As Politico magazine’s Tim Alberta and Zack Stanton wrote in July, his music showcases his “extravagant drug use, excessive drinking and sexual exploits with prostitutes,” and his personal life has featured a sex tape and an assault plea.
Yet still, the power of celebrity — and, perhaps, Ritchie’s ability to self-fund — made some Republicans consider him a surprisingly appealing candidate in a state that seems a reach for them on next year’s Senate map. Former New York Gov. George Pataki even said he was “exactly the kind of candidate the GOP needs right now,” and an ally of Mitch McConnell said his Super PAC would be “very interested in his candidacy.”
Now, the GOP will have to look elsewhere in its effort to unseat Stabenow in this state where Trump surprisingly edged out a narrow victory in 2016. One possible candidate is Rep. Fred Upon (R-MI), but he has not yet made up his mind about whether he’ll enter the race.