Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe launched campaign ads this week claiming his gubernatorial opponent Glenn Youngkin “helped buy” pop superstar Taylor Swift’s music “out from under her” while he was CEO of the Carlyle Group.
McAuliffe’s campaign spent five figures on the ads, which target Swift fans on social media platforms and Virginians who search for Swift’s name on Google. One ad reads, “Did you know that Republican candidate for Governor, Glenn Youngkin, helped buy Taylor Swift’s masters out from under her when he was co-CEO of Carlyle group?”
This refers to a public battle Swift engaged in in 2019 with music executive Scooter Braun, who had just taken over the rights to Swift’s first six albums. Swift, an outspoken Democrat activist, claimed Braun exercised “tyrannical control” over her music. Carlyle, where Youngkin worked for 25 years and was co-CEO for two and a half years, had invested in the $300 million deal.
“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,” Youngkin’s spokesperson wrote in a statement .
In addition, the Washington Post published a fact-check Monday about an ad falsely claiming Youngkin “took over” an abusive dental clinic as a Carlyle executive. The Post gave McAuliffe’s ad “four Pinocchios,” writing, “On just about every level, this campaign ad is flat-out false.”