Kid Rock amps up Senate tease with expletives

Jonathan Oosting
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Michigan rock star Kid Rock on Thursday tried to amp up speculation he could run for U.S. Senate – or at least release new music – as he blasted media reporting and skepticism on his Wednesday tease.

Michigan rock star Kid Rock on Thursday tried to amp up speculation he could run for U.S. Senate – or at least release new music – as he blasted media reporting and skepticism on his Wednesday tease.

The Clarkston resident and Romeo native again did not make clear whether he plans to run for the GOP nomination for Senate in Michigan. But he said in a blog post that “like politicians write books during their campaigns, I’m planning on putting out music during mine.”

Kid Rock's flirt with Senate run news to Michigan GOP

It all starts at midnight, Rock said in a post that ended with hash tags #fakenews #kidrockforsenate #kidrock #podunk #greatestshowonearth. The latter appear to be possible song titles.

The Republican rebel, real name Bob Ritchie, also responded to comments from incumbent U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Lansing area Democrat and pianist. Asked about his possible run Tuesday, Stabenow said they both love music and conceded he’s better at guitar but said she’ll continue doing what she does best, which is “fighting for Michigan.”

Rock agreed they share a love of music – but probably not the same kind, he wrote.

“I concede she is better at playing politics than I am so I'll keep doing what I do best, which is being a voice for tax paying, hardworking AMERICANS and letting politicians like her know that We the People are sick and tired of their bull----!” he said.

Other Republican hopefuls who have announced they are running include President Donald Trump Michigan campaign co-chair Lena Epstein and former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Young Jr.

Rock appeared to take exception to media reports skeptical that he will run for Senate. The Detroit News and others reported Rock has not filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, but he said he has 15 days to do some “from my announcement.”

Sales of Senate-logoed gear on his website also redirect to a Warner Bros. Records site, but Rock mocked reports he was signed to the label.

“I have recently worked out a unique deal with BMG, Broken Bow, CAA and Live Nation to release music ON MY TERMS.”

The post ends with an image of a vehicle gas meter on empty with the words “F--- TANK” emblazoned beneath it.

Rock would be far from the first celebrity to run for political office. Oakland University political science professor Dave Dulio noted Republican President Donald Trump (“The Apprentice”), Democratic Sen. Al Franken (“Saturday Night Live”) and former President Ronald Reagan (movies and television appearances).

“I don’t think you can easily dismiss the possibility that it is a publicity stunt,” Dulio said earlier Thursday, before Rock’s blog post. “However, President Trump was thought to be more of a publicity stunt prior to him pulling the trigger on the 2016 presidential race. So I think it’s possible that with the election of Trump we see more of this.”

If Rock is really preparing to run for Senate, it’s news to the Michigan Republican Party.

The Michigan GOP has “not had any contact with him at all,” spokeswoman Sarah Anderson said Thursday, “so I can’t speak to the validity of it.”

Although the state party does not endorse in Republican primaries, potential candidates typically talk to GOP leaders and activists around the state before launching campaigns.

Rock caused an uproar Wednesday when he tweeted a mock image of a political lawn sign and said his website is “absolute YES” for real.

Speculation over a Kid Rock run went viral in February when Michigan GOP state central committee member Wes Nakagiri of Hartland told a newspaper he thinks the rock star would make a good Senate candidate.

Nakagiri did not have any insider information at that time – he just liked the idea. He said Thursday he has not had any contact with Rock or anyone close to him regarding political aspirations.

“I’m not sure how serious he is,” Nakagari told The News, noting Rock’s product sales redirect to the record label’s website. He also pointed out Rock’s new site was registered just days after Nakagiri floated his name in February.

“So he’s been thinking about something for a while, or he took the name to prepare for any eventuality, whether it was marketing for his record, which I’ve heard people say, or a real run for Senate,” he said.

Staff Writer Michael Gerstein contributed