Bredesen: Corker ‘feels the same way I do’ — and Trump campaigning for Blackburn won’t hurt him much

In Chattanooga Monday, former Gov. Phil Bredesen said “it’s odd and very telling to the nation’s political climate” that Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is being criticized by some fellow Republicans for “being friends and working closely with someone from the opposite party,” according to WDEF TV. The Democratic candidate to succeed Corker in the Senate, of course, is speaking of himself as the person Corker has worked with. He told another station that his campaign won’t be harmed significantly if President Trump campaigns within the state for Republican nominee-apparent Marsha Blackburn.

Bredesen says, if elected, he wants to break the partisan attitudes in Washington and represent all Tennesseans.

…“He (Corker) feels the same way I do, which is we’re friends. We don’t want to do anything particularly against him. We all have our obligations within our party and so on, but I respect the way he’s treating it,” Bredesen said.

Bredesen worked closely with Corker to move the Volkswagen plant to Chattanooga — and he says it’s that kind of bipartisan work that needs to be done on Capitol Hill.

“One of the things I want us to do is be a voice for getting out of this partisan gridlock that we have. We can do better than people standing on opposite sides of the room and yelling at each other and throwing bricks at each other,”Bredesen said.

But will the historically red state of Tennessee elect a Democrat Senator?

“I mean anybody who watched me as governor knows that I’m hardly a party animal that way, and there were multiple times I broke with the National Democratic Party as governor and made some people unhappy,” Bredesen said.

We reached out to Marsha Blackburn for reaction. Her press secretary sent a statement reiterating her campaign stance — that Bredesen will just be another vote for Chuck Schumer and Obama-era policies.

WRCB TV has bloc quotes from an interview with Bredesen, including some along the same lines. An excerpt:

“So, we can’t be friendly and say nice things about each other? I respect, you know, what he’s done in the Senate. I respect the way he conducted himself as mayor and, you know, it’s been a great pleasure for me to work on different projects with him over the years and I really appreciate the kind things he says in return.

…”I really do intend to work for the people of Tennessee and certainly not the Democratic party. You know, when I was governor, there were numerous times when I split with the national party and with the president. You think about the Affordable Care Act, for example, where obviously there was a lot of pressure on me to support it in every way and I didn’t. I had some real problems with it. So, I think that’s good evidence, that ought to be good evidence to people that I’m going to take an independent line and will be there. And sure, you know, some national Democrats called me and said ‘I hope you do this,’ but there’s nothing wrong with that. But, I’ve made it very clear to everybody I intend to be an independent voice and I’m far enough along in life and so on that I can afford to do so.”

…(After being asked whether President Trump, who carried 92 of 95 Tennessee counties in 2016, would hurt his campaign if following through with a promise to campaign for Blackburn within the state) “First of all, I won 95 of the 95 counties and, no, I don’t think so. I mean, I think people look beyond that stuff, whether it was Obama campaigning for people or President Trump now, I think people are smart enough to kind of look at the individual candidates and decide who they think is going to best represent their interests.”

Note: Most recent previous post on the Corker-Trump-Bredesen-Blackburn flap is HERE.

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