Toby Keith Registering as Independent Voter

Longtime Democrat Says Left Wing's Attacks On Sarah Palin Could Ensure Republican Victory

Longtime Democrat Toby Keith is registering to vote as an independent and says the left wing’s verbal attacks against Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin could lead to a win for John McCain in November, the singer-songwriter said Thursday (Oct. 2) in an interview with CMT.com.

Keith also cited erroneous headlines and reports in the media indicating that he supports Democrat Barack Obama.

“I said that he had a chance to win it as the [party's] best candidate since Bill Clinton,” Keith said. “I said McCain is very able to run this country, too. Very qualified. … They didn’t put anything about McCain and Palin. They just put that Toby Keith supports Obama.”

Keith said the Democratic party no longer represents his views.

“I’ve been a lifetime Democrat, and I’m re-registering this year as an independent,” he said. “It’s strictly [because] my party, that I’ve been affiliated with all these years, doesn’t stand for anything that I stand for anymore. They’ve lost any sensibility that they had, and they’ve allowed all the kooks in, so I’m going independent.”

He’s convinced the attacks on Palin are likely to backfire on the Democrats.

“It’s just like this: If I was a strong supporter of Obama and Biden … the kooks in the Democratic party — this extreme left — are hammering Palin so bad, that they’re gonna cause John McCain to win this thing,” he said.

Keith said he will probably vote for McCain because Palin is his running mate.

“I’ve never been a huge John McCain fan,” he said. “I appreciate everything he did for this country. But at the same time, the wackos are hammering her so hard, that they’re gonna make that ticket win. They can’t get out of their own way. They’ve got a chance to win it … and they’re gonna blow it by hammering her.”

Keith predicts that Palin is going to do well in Thursday night’s debate with Biden.

“Palin’s about the least political-looking, acting, resembling person that’s ever run for office,” he said. “You look at her: All the housewives are gonna love her. All the women in America can relate to everything she’s done. She’s real normal. Her kid is pregnant, she hunts, she snowmobiles, she’s backwoods. I just think a lot of women are going to appreciate her and feel that they have to vote for her.

“If the Democrats ever had a chance, after that Democratic convention, to win it, they blew everything they had by attacking her. The extreme nuts on the right side aren’t going after Biden. There are right wing magazines out there. Not as many as the lefties, but all the right wing magazines aren’t going after Biden.”

As for watching the vice presidential debate, Keith has set his priorities for the day.

“I’m working until 7:30, and the Dodgers and the Cubs are on,” he said. “I’ll probably watch the game and go back and watch the debate on the Internet.”

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.