The National Republican Senatorial Committee blasted popular musicians Ben Folds and Jason Isbell as members of the “unhinged left” hours before they performed at a fundraising rally in Nashville for Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen on Monday.
Grammy-winning country rocker Isbell later told a wildly enthusiastic crowd: “I feel so hinged. I’m hinged as hell!”
“If Tennesseans had any unanswered questions about how far to the left Phil Bredesen is, look no further than the two musicians holding a concert to benefit his campaign,” the statement reads. The NRSC provides support and assistance to Republican Senate candidates.
The release skewers singer-songwriter Folds for “proudly” supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president, and blasts Isbell for telling Rolling Stone last year that “God is gone” when it comes to Christians who support Trump because “Trump is obviously not a good Christian person.”
After he spoke out to Rolling Stone, Isbell told HuffPost that he learned “there are so many more people out there who are similar to me than I used to believe. So that was a nice, life-affirming thing.”
Isbell, an Alabama native who now lives in Nashville, added that his criticism of Trump “helped the career,” and that “People seem to appreciate it when you’re honest.”
He quipped on Twitter Monday that he was “proud” to be insulted by the NRSC and looked forward to sharing the story with his grandkids.
Bredesen, a former Tennessee governor, is running against Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn for the Senate seat that retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, a frequent Trump critic, will vacate.
The Bredesen camp defended the musicians and pointed out that Folds performed at the Republican National Convention.
“Jason Isbell is a champion for working men and women. Ben Folds is a leading advocate for arts education,” Bredesen’s communications director Laura Zapata said in a statement.