Conflicting spin on Sundquist’s endorsement of Blackburn

In an op-ed piece published by the News Sentinel and passed along to media via email by the Marsha Blackburn campaign, former Gov. Don Sundquist expands somewhat on his earlier endorsement of Blackburn’s campaign for the U.S. Senate while bashing the ‘intellectually dishonest” Phil Bredesen. The Democratic party, meanwhile, is striving to undermine the endorsement.

An excerpt:

 Marsha reflects Tennessee values and has a reputation as a fighter for Tennessee values in the U.S. House of Representatives. She has always been honest and clear about her positions and does not play the game of confusing the voters. She does not say one thing at home and vote the opposite when she is in D.C.  She has a proven record of standing up for Tennessee values.

On the other hand, the likely Democrat nominee, Phil Bredesen, has muddled his stance in an effort to attract Republican and Independent voters. He is being intellectually dishonest.

Though his carefully crafted television ads suggest he will work with President Trump, that is highly unlikely. Are we to believe the man who was “courted personally” by Senator Chuck Schumer would vote against the Democrat agenda once in the Washington swamp?

It is well worth remembering that Phil Bredesen served as governor with a strong Republican majority in the Tennessee House and Senate. His liberal policies were kept in check by the strength of a GOP legislature. Make no mistake, if Bredesen is elected, he will support Chuck Schumer when he gets to Washington.

Update/Note: Former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh points out in an email that Sundquist is mistaken about Bredesen serving as governor while there was a “strong Republican majority” in the Legislature. Naifeh was speaker of the House, thanks to a Democratic majority, for the first six years of Bredesen’s gubernatorial tenure and, for his last two years, Kent Williams was House speaker – having voted for himself along with 49 Democrats to get the 50 votes needed for election.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Democratic Party has emailed media the link to a December Tennessee Star story wherein Sundquist’s endorsement of Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd is criticized — with commentary. Here’s the email text:

 “The unpopular former governor’s endorsement . . . may well be ‘the Sundquiss of Death.” Tennessee Star, conservative blog

·         “I helped lead the fight against Governor Sundquist’s income tax and cannot imagine anyone who is an actual fiscal conservative relying upon him for guidance or support.” Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers

·         “Sundquist is not considered any sort of ‘revered elder statesman’ of the party.” Steve Gill, conservative political pundit

·         “Is [she] trotting out Lane Kiffin next? . . . Can [Blackburn] be this politically tone deaf or is it just pure arrogance?” a “Capitol Hill insider,” as reported by the Tennessee Star.

·         “I’m so honored to earn Governor Sundquist’s endorsement. . . . I am grateful for his input.” Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Republican candidate for the United States Senate

Okay, so they were actually talking about Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, after Sundquist endorsed him in a holiday letter to friends in December 2017 (


1.    Can’t we assume that these conservative opinion leaders feel the same way about Sundquist’s endorsement of Blackburn ( Surely there’s no difference between the two.

2.    Accepting the endorsement of Sundquist, whose signature initiative as governor was his push to enact a state income tax, means that Blackburn has reversed her position on the income tax and now supports it. Right?

3.    Did Sundquist give back Blackburn’s bag of ashes (

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