Daddy Yankee Defends His Decision To Back John McCain

Reggaetón artist won't accept Fat Joe's challenge to a political debate.

Daddy Yankee has gone on the defensive after his endorsement of Republican presidential nominee John McCain prompted Fat Joe to dub him “a sellout.”

“A man does not sell out when he backs his ideals,” the Latin Grammy-winning reggaetón artist told the New York Post from his home in Puerto Rico.

Yankee’s unwavering support of the Arizona senator shocked several in the hip-hop community, but that doesn’t mean Yankee is about to stop backing the man he feels is best suited for the gig.

“I don’t care who I piss off,” Yankee told the Post, while promoting the movie he produced and stars in, “Talento del Barrio.” “This is about my ideals, not about making friends. Senator McCain is the kind of man whose promises you can actually believe in.”

Yankee met McCain in 2006, when both were included in Time magazine’s list of 100 People Who Shaped Our World. He said he hit it off with McCain and recently visited Washington, D.C., to meet with the senator.

“I like his stance on immigration reform, that he works across party lines to help immigrants, that he agreed to take a look and help the dire situation of aid to the veterans of Puerto Rico,” Yankee said. “It’s not fair that Boricua soldiers die and fight in wars and don’t get the same benefits as those on the mainland. I like that el senador agreed to take a serious look and help those kinds of issues affecting us on the island.”

When asked if he ever considered Democratic nominee Barack Obama for the nation’s highest office, Yankee said “never — not for a minute.” He also tiptoed around Fat Joe’s challenge to a debate, saying, “Look, I’m not a politician. I am a man with ideals, and I think that el Senador McCain is the best candidate. I asked el senador point-blank about whether or not he will seriously help Puerto Rico and our veterans here, and he said, ‘Yes. You endorse me, and I will do it.’ I believe he will back up his word.”

As a Puerto Rican resident, Daddy Yankee can’t vote for president, but he urged other Latinos to participate in the election. “There are 18.1 million Latinos who are eligible,” he said. “Let your voices be heard.”