Dueling editorials on kick-off of Senate general election race

The dueling editorial pages at the Times Free Press have competing takes on the kick-of of the general election phase of the U.S. Senate race between Republican Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen.

On the right side of the paper’s editorial pages, Clint Cooper writes that “Phil Bredesen’s Democratic campaign for U.S. Senate showed it was not above such deceptive advertising,” in which Republicans who don’t support him say nice things about the former governor.

Former state Rep. Debra Maggart, one of those quoted quoted in the ad, says her comments were spliced to sound more supportive of Bredesen than she was).

The spot has her saying “he did a of good things in our state … like fix TennCare.” Maggart’s full remarks on the news show were: “He did a lot of good things in our state, but he had a lot of Republican support. I was there. We helped him do things that the Democrats absolutely refused to do like fix TennCare.”

“Until now, Bredesen had intoned themes of working with President Trump where they found common ground, of the parties working alongside each other and of ending the rancor in Washington, D.C.,” Cooper writes. “This ad, and so soon out of the gate, shows the campaign has no such motives.”

“Everybody says they want unity,” writes Pam Sohn from the left of the paper’s editorial pages. “Quite a number Republicans have praised Bredesen for unity. But when Bredesen puts that unity on display, they get all huffy, talk out of the other sides of their mouths, and accuse him of not modeling unity.

“There those Pachyderms go again, helping the president with his agenda — the agenda of demonization and discord.”

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