Piggybacking off the ads, the Democratic Party of Virginia started selling hats, mugs and buttons with the phrase “Swifties Against Youngkin” emblazoned on them in magenta writing, as reported by Washingtonian magazine on Thursday. A screenshot of the merch was tweeted Friday (Oct. 8) by Mediate reporter Katherine Higgins.
There’s no word yet why the merch was pulled, but back in February 2017, Swift filed a series of trademarks for the word “Swifties” — the nickname for her fanbase.
Swift’s spokeswoman has not responded to requests to comment about the singer/songwriter’s unwitting involvement in the Virginia gubernatorial race.
In a statement to Billboard about McAuliffe’s Swiftie-targeting ad campaign, Democratic Party of Virginia spokesman Manuel Bonder said: “No matter the industry, Youngkin has shown he would rip off anyone for a profit. What happened here is a continuation of Glenn Youngkin’s abhorrent track record of shipping jobs overseas, raising rents on seniors, and harming working families across our country. When it comes to Taylor Swift’s music: What did Glenn know and when did he know it? Virginians deserve answers.”
For his part, Youngkin rep Christian Martinez responded: “Terry McAuliffe has reached the stage of desperation in his campaign where he’s rolling out the most baseless attacks to see what sticks. It’s a pathetic fall that could only be achieved by a 43-year political hack.”
Swift is now re-recording her first six records as a response to the sale of her master recordings, beginning with the April release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and continuing Nov. 12 with Red (Taylor’s Version).