Kelly Clarkson Criticized After Endorsing Ron Paul: Should Celebs Publicly Endorse?

Photo: Kelly Clarkson and Ron Paul. (Getty Images)

During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Oprah and Stevie Wonder (among many others) joined now-President Barack Obama on the campaign trail, while Chuck Norris joined now-FOX News personality Mike Huckabee. As the 2012 election starts to heat up, particularly within the Republican field, celebs are starting to join in on the conversation. Kelly Clarkson and Michelle Branch did so–but their views weren’t well-received.

Yesterday, Kelly took to Twitter to endorse Republican Presidential hopeful Ron Paul, the Congressman out of her home state of Texas:

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.

But she shortly found herself defending her endorsement after a slew of tweets expressing discontent were sent the American Idol winner’s way:

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.

Fellow pop vocalist Michelle Branch came to her defense, tweeting to Kelly: “I wholeheartedly agree. #RonPaul” And then came the attacks toward Michelle. And she, too, found herself defending her stance:

Hmm. Didn’t mean to offend. I am not racist and am absolutely not a homophobe. Just trying to weed through the non-impressive choices! 

I should listen to my father who said never to share my beliefs on religion&politics. However I will always share my view on civil rights.

So I guess you could say celebs better be prepared to defend their stances when they shout them out so publicly. Then again, where do we draw the line when it comes to challenging someone’s opinion without being disrespectful? If you ask country crooner Blake Shelton, he’s down to listen to her point of view anytime:

UPDATE (1/2/12): Looks like it paid off for Kelly. Sales of her latest album Stronger are, well, stronger, according to Idolator.

UPDATE (1/5/12): Not so fast! Sales figures are finally in for the week and it looks like sales of Kelly’s latest album went DOWN, according to Billboard.

Should celebrities be able to freely endorse candidates for public office without getting personally attacked? Or should they even endorse at all? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @MTVact.