Kellyanne Conway isn't just a top political operative and senior counselor to the president — she's also a pop music aficionado. On Wednesday morning, Conway revealed on Fox News that she's up on Taylor Swift's latest hit single. And she used those words to make a political point.
During an appearance on "The Story" with Martha MacCallum, Conway was asked about Swift's call for the White House to support the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ rights — a question to which she replied by quoting Swift's own lyrics.
At the VMAs on Monday night, petition that urges lawmakers to pass the bill, which would bar anti-LGBTQ discrimination at work, housing, schools and other public accommodations. Swift highlighted the Equality Act bill and petition at the end of the music video for her hit song for which she won the Video of the Year award at the VMAs.for not responding to a
When Swift accepted the award for her music video, she spoke about the Equality Act. "In this video, several points were made, so you voting for the video means that you want a world where we're all treated equally under the law, regardless of who we love, regardless of how we identify," she said.
"At the end of this video there was a petition — and there still is a petition — for the Equality Act, which basically just says we all deserve equal rights under the law. And I want to thank everyone who signed that petition because it now has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount that it would need to warrant a response from the White House."
A clip of Swift's acceptance speech was played on "The Story," and Conway was asked to respond.
Conway said Swift is entitled to her opinion, and that she would "love to just survey the audience if they know what [the Equality Act] even is."
"The LGBTQ community believes it would give them greater equality in the workplace and elsewhere," Fox News' MacCallum said.
Conway seized the moment to capitalize on Swift's popular summer hit. "I actually like the new Taylor Swift song. It's called 'You Need to Calm Down,'" she said. "I can sing it for you."
"'If you say it on the street, that's a knockout / If you put it in a tweet, that's a cop-out'," Conway sang. "I love that. That basically is Washington in a nutshell."
It is unclear who in Washington Conway was invoking — although her boss, President Trump, is a known Twitter fan.
Conway said of Swift, "She's welcome to her opinion." But then she added, "I think that when Hollywood and singers and all go political, it sounds in the moment like it's very popular and we've seen so many times where it backfires and it blows up."
The message of "You Need to Calm Down" challenges anti-LGBTQ beliefs, and the music video features several celebrities — most of them an integral part of LGBTQ visibility — battling ignorant protestors. It acts an anthem for anyone who has felt a patronizing glare or has been told to "calm down" in a condescending way. And the music video celebrates the antithesis of these feelings: acceptance.
Swift and Conway may agree that the song could be used to describe Washington politicians. However, Swift was probably looking for a greater response to the song's call for equality.
Conway noted thatbefore, when the music star for Democrat Phil Bredesen during the 2018 U.S. Senate race in her home state of Tennessee.
Bredesen and Swift lost that battle "handily," Conway said.
"Can you give her one answer for why doesn't the White House support the Equality Act?" MacCallum pressed.
"The president and the White House support equality. We don't support pieces of legislation that have poison pills in it that can harm other people," Conway replied, without explaining what the administration views as "poison pills" in the Equality Act.