Donald Trump does not approve of Jay Z's use of foul language — not one bit. And neither does his campaign manager.
“Should I use that language? Can you imagine if I said that?” Trump asked Saturday morning in Florida, the morning after Jay Z and Beyoncé performed at a Hillary Clinton rally and Jay Z used words beginning with “f” and “n.”
Trump continued: “So he used every word in the book. I won’t even use the initials because I’ll get in trouble. They’ll get me in trouble. He used every word in the book last night.”
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway followed that up with a tweet:
First off, Trump doth protest too much here. This is the man who on a hot mic spoke in graphic terms about grabbing women by the genitals using a word we generally censor on this blog. His hypocritical use of all manner of foul language also came up during the GOP primary when he complained that former Mexican president Vicente Fox had used the f-word; an obviously #NSFW supercut can be found here.
(As some quickly noted, the n-word has found its way into Trump events as well: Earlier this fall, Trump supporter Don King accidentally let it slip while introducing the GOP nominee at a church event in Ohio.)
So Trump's complaints about foul language and misogyny in Jay Z's lyrics Saturday drew much the same reaction as Melania Trump's recent promises to fight bullying on social media when her husband is, as our Callum Borchers deemed him, the nation's “cyber-bully-in-chief.”
But in a way, picking this mini-fight with Jay Z isn't a bad move for Trump — especially in the final days of the campaign.
Jay Z is a popular and historic figure in hip-hop; the kids love him. He is not, however, beloved by Republicans, or even political independents.
An automated poll from Democratic-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling back in 2013 asked about a number of artists — including Jay Z, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake — and significantly more Americans had an unfavorable view of Jay Z (44 percent) than had a favorable one (25 percent).
The only artists with worse ratings were Chris Brown (57 percent unfavorable versus 13 percent favorable) -- who pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009 — and Justin Bieber (54 and 20) -- who is Justin Bieber.
Jay Z was particularly unpopular among Republicans, 53 percent of whom viewed him unfavorably and just 15 percent of whom liked him. Among independents, it was 2-to-1 negative — 50 percent unfavorable versus 25 percent favorable.
Now, Trump isn't exactly going to war with Jay Z here. (He said he doesn't need Jay Z to draw big crowds, but he also clarified in his comments that he liked both him and his wife.) But if Democrats are going to use celebrities to try and get key demographic groups excited about voting on the eve of the 2016 election, the smartest strategy for Republicans is probably for them to use that very same alliance between Democrats and entertainers to try to fire up their own base.
Logically speaking, there could be likely evangelical Christians and older voters for whom Jay Z's use foul language at an official concert of the Clinton campaign who might be more motivated to elect Trump.
Assuming, of course, that Trump's own filthy mouth hasn't already turned them off.