R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe backs Bernie Sanders

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Although Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed declared the state of Georgia to be firmly in Hillary Clinton’s corner during her campaign stop here, one of the most influential artists in Georgia, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, has publicly announced his support of her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

AJC file photo

AJC file photo

“In art and in music, I seek out and listen for honesty and realness. That’s why I’m backing Bernie Sanders for president of the United States. In politics, he is the person who is offering me the most honesty and the most realness,” Stipe said in a video interview with Rolling Stone. “Sanders takes positions on all of these issues that have [outshone] any other candidate that I’ve seen — and I have looked, believe me. I identify with him. I’m a proud liberal, but I also lean more center when it comes to policy. I get it that there are people who don’t see things exactly the way I do.”

Reed accompanied Clinton during her swing through Atlanta on Friday and repeated his assertion that Sanders has no hope at clinching the nomination. Reed guaranteed Clinton that she can bank on the Peach State in her quest for the presidency, saying, “Don’t worry about Georgia.”

The Athens musician sees things differently: “”I’m a feminist. I’ve marched, supported and fought for black rights, privacy rights and LGBTQ rights. I’m deeply concerned about the environment. I’m completely freaked out by fracking,” Stipe told Rolling Stone. “Sanders takes positions on all of these issues that have [outshone] any other candidate that I’ve seen — and I have looked, believe me.”