Kid Rock Admits He's Not Running for Senate

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Kid Rock

"Fuck no, I'm not running for Senate," says the rocker, copping to his apparent bid for office being a publicity stunt.

It was all a goof.

Kid Rock admitted Tuesday morning that his tease about running for Senate in Michigan was all a joke to promote his upcoming album, Sweet Southern Sugar, out Nov. 3.

"Fuck no, I'm not running for Senate. Are you fucking kidding me? Who fucking couldn't figure that out?" Rock, who was born Robert Ritchie, told Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show.

The "Devil Without a Cause" rapper had stirred up speculation this summer that he could become the latest celebrity to jump into politics when he launched the kidrockforsenate.com site and began selling merchandise. Now, he says that saying he was going to run was “the worst advice that I ever gave myself, but it’s been the most creative thing I’ve ever done, and I've gotten to see everyone’s true colors." 

Rock, 46, was proud that he had gotten endorsements from the White House — including from former Trump whisperer Steve Bannon, former New York Gov. George Pataki — as well as fans from "all over the world" for his fake run. He especially got a laugh out the fact that some of the people in his inner circle bought the gag that he was going to take on Democrat Debbie Stabenow.

In April, Rock even joined Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent during a White House visit with President Trump, making headlines for memorably posing in front of the Hillary Clinton portrait. At the time, it was reported that the conservative rocker was eyeing a run for the Senate in Michigan — a race that The Late Show's Stephen Colbert described as something that would "only happen in Trump's America."

The outspoken rocker, who referred to The New York Times as "a little bit gay" during the hourlong appearance when taking shots at what he deemed the "left-wing media," said on Stern's show there was no way he was ever really going to run, noting that the closest he's ever come to higher office was snagging class clown in high school. In fact, he had notes written out to read his statement to Stern about not running, but he'd lost them on the way to the studio and had to wing it.

Rock said once a fan suggested he might want to run for Senate in Michigan earlier this year he said, "Fuck it, let's get some signs made...we start going with it. Everyone gets their panties in a bunch. I have people who work for me, they're on the in, I'm like, 'Fuck no we're not doing it, but let's roll with it for a little while. This is awesome.'"

Between boasting about his seven houses, tricked-out private jet and making it clear that he just "doesn't get" Caitlin Jenner, Rock seemed to waffle once again about his political ambitions, noting that he does feel a duty to pay back the country that has made him so ridiculously wealthy. "I struggle with the fact that maybe I haven't served my country enough," he told Stern at one point. "Maybe it's time that I try to make a difference and make this country better for everybody."

But in the end, he was there to do exactly what the fake Senate run was set up to do: plug his Nashville-recorded 11th studio album — which will feature previously released tracks "Podunk" and "Greatest Show on Earth" as well as "Tennessee Mountain Top" — and upcoming tour, which kicks off Jan. 19.

A version of this story originally appeared on Billboard.

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