Sen. Mark Warner made headlines Tuesday when he declared that he is not, in fact, a Belieber—and he's in favor of deporting the eponymous pop star for running into trouble with the law.
The Democrat from Virginia told FM 99 that he wants to add his name to a whitehouse.gov petition that calls for the deportation of the Canadian singer Justin Bieber, who was arrested for driving under the influence last month. "As a dad with three daughters, is there some place I can sign?" Warner said.
At the time of this writing, the petition is nearing 250,000 signatures, well over the 100,000 threshold that prompts a formal response from the White House. Press secretary Jay Carney said last week that such a response will come "relatively soon."
Social media quickly lit up with the cries of hundreds following Warner's remarks: some of them, for whom the song "Baby" is not real music, in support of Warner; others, mostly teenage admirers, in defense of the singer. And then, it got real—Senate race-real.
The campaign for Ed Gillespie, the former White House aide who is challenging Warner for his seat this year, slammed the incumbent Thursday in a note titled, "Senator Warner, It's Time To Get Serious."
"Virginians are losing jobs, losing hours at work, losing wages, and at risk of being dropped from the health care plans they like. Since Ed entered the race for Senate, Mark Warner hasn't found time to talk about the Affordable Care Act and its disastrous consequences on Twitter," the message read. "But what is Mark Warner worried about today? You won't believe it. Justin Bieber."
The post included a tweet from Warner that read "It's true. I'm not a #Belieber."
Last week, Bieber made it into a press briefing by the White House press secretary. This week, he's become a talking point in a congressional campaign. Whether he can swing any voters remains to be seen.