The Oscar- and Grammy-winning pop star is scheduled to perform at a drive-in rally for Democratic candidate Joe Biden in Pittsburgh on Monday night. Over the weekend, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh tweeted: “Nothing exposes Biden’s disdain for the forgotten working men & women of PA like campaigning with anti-fracking activist Lady Gaga. This desperate effort to drum up enthusiasm is actually a sharp stick in the eye for 600,000 Pennsylvanians who work in the fracking industry.”
A longer campaign news release, which repeated the false claim that Biden plans to ban fracking if elected, linked to a 2012 Facebook post in which Gaga promoted the since-deleted website artistsagainstfracking.com. On Monday morning, the president — who has been focused on fracking as he campaigns across Pennsylvania, a critical swing state with many energy workers — joined in as well: “Just learned that Sleepy Joe Biden is campaigning in Pennsylvania with Lady Gaga, a proud member of ‘Artists Against Fracking,’ ” he tweeted. “This is more proof that he would ban Fracking and skyrocket your energy prices.”
While attacking celebrities and the “liberal Hollywood elite” is a move directly out of Trump’s well-known playbook, Gaga is a surprisingly obvious A-lister to target — it would be difficult for the campaign to find someone who is more clearly anti-Trump. Gaga is a well-known Democratic political supporter who campaigned for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and has been friends with Biden for years. In 2017, they collaborated on a public service announcement to raise awareness about sexual assault.
The response to the Trump campaign’s release was also predictable, as social media lighted up with jokes (“Yes, the first thing I think of when I think of Gaga is her views on fracking,” read one tweet) and Gaga made it clear she did not care. She reposted the statement with an “LOL” to her nearly 45 million followers on Instagram and added “#WINNING (Also, what is a fracking?) Keep your jobs PA… We♥You.” She also posted it to her 82 million followers on Twitter, to which Murtaugh responded, trying to keep the feud going by thanking her for bringing more attention to her “anti-fracking activism.”
Undeterred, Gaga continued to post to Instagram, noting that she was “SO EXCITED to be back in Pennsylvania” and adding that she used to fly into the Pittsburgh airport when she visited her grandmother.
“Good morning PENNSYLVANIA! I’m so excited to see you today and SING for you!!!!!!!” she wrote Monday morning. “I believe in YOU & I!!!! Let’s talk about what America looks like with a KINDER President. WE NEED EVERY VOTE.”