Hagerty camp touts McConnell endorsement, says he’s under attack by ‘liberal media’

Bill Hagerty attends the Tennessee Republican Party’s Statesmen’s Dinner in Nashville on June 15, 2019. At right is U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood). (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Newly announced U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty says in a fundraising appeal that he’s been endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and that he’s already under attack by “Washington Democrats and their media allies.”

Hagerty had long been expected to get into the race, especially once President Donald Trump announced his endorsement while he was still U.S. ambassador to Japan. Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi had previously been the only major Republican in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville).

Hagerty’s formal entry into the race hasn’t stirred too much attention in the national media. For example, the Washington Post and New York Times both used the AP’s account out of the Nashville and haven’t written anything further. Politico wrote its own account.

The Tennessean ran what it deemed an exclusive interview with Hagerty on the day of his announcement, but the campaign had been scooped in declaring its launch by enterprising Nashville Scene reporter Stephen Elliott, who spotted Hagerty’s Federal Election Commission filing earlier in the day. Otherwise, there’s not been a ton of media attention — good or bad — to Hagerty or the Tennessee Senate race.

Nevertheless, the Hagerty email calls it critical for the candidate to post a large fundraising haul to “prove the liberal media talking heads wrong.”

Here’s the email from the Hagerty campaign:


Bill Hagerty announced his campaign for U.S. Senate this week, and he’s already been endorsed by President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Join President Trump and Mitch by making a generous donation right now.

Trump and Mitch know that Bill Hagerty is a strong conservative who we can count on to stand up to the Democrats’ radical socialist agenda. And that’s why Washington Democrats and their media allies are already attacking Bill.

We have to send a message that we have his back. It’s CRITICAL that Bill posts the biggest fundraising haul possible to prove the liberal media talking heads wrong.



Thank you for your support.
Team Hagerty

UPDATE: The Sethi campaign is denouncing the McConnell endorsement. Here’s the release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Republican Senate candidate and conservative outsider Manny Sethi’s campaign released the following statement on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s endorsement of Ambassador Bill Hagerty for Senate.

“Today, Mitch McConnell–the same guy who brought us runaway spending, failed to repeal ObamaCare and not building the Wall–joined Mitt Romney today, endorsing moderate Ambassador Bill Hagerty,” said Chris Devaney, Campaign Chairman and Senior Advisor.

“Tennesseans want a conservative outsider like Manny Sethi—and we don’t want Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, or any other member of the DC Establishment ‘Death Star’ telling us who to vote for.”

17 Responses to Hagerty camp touts McConnell endorsement, says he’s under attack by ‘liberal media’

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    McConnell is NOT GOOD.
    Come on Manny Sethi , Where do you stand?

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    Perry Aubric says:

    Well, this guy has kicked off his campaign with an intellectually dishonest typical bugaboo about the “liberal media.” If there has been anything particularly negative written about his or his candidacy, so far anyway, I cannot find it. Pretty much, it’s been “he’s running” sort of coverage.

    He wants to “prove the liberal media talking heads wrong?” About what? That he’s running and is likely to win in a strongly Republican state and with Trump’s endorsement? Because that’s what the talking heads are saying so far.

    Now, I guess it’s fair to say that Democrats will attack him. He does have a Democratic opponent, Mackler, a veteran and an attorney who seems competent and capable enough to serve in this job. It won’t be out of bounds or unacceptable or unfair for Mackler to attack Hagerty’s positions (even though right-wingers seem to think they should be immune from criticism), especially if he plans to be a spineless enabler of our unethical, incompetent, racist criminal President like Blackburn and Alexander have been. Of course, that won’t be enough to actually elect Mackler. A majority of our state’s voters seem just fine with an unethical, incompetent, racist criminal President.

    What I would like to see about where Sethi and Hagerty “stand” (as James asks) is where they stand on actually defending the constitution, opposing foreign interference in our elections, opposing using the presidency for personal profit, actually supporting public education rather than trying to destroy it, supporting our allies rather than coddling dictators, and helping average Americans get ahead economically. That’s far more important that phony ratings from right-wing think tanks, non-issues like the nature of a theoretical constitutional convention, or dog-whistle issues involving race and class resentment. But I won’t see that. They will try to out-nut each other, and the whole state will suffer for it.

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      Perry, “actually defending the constitution” is NOT “…supporting public education,..,supporting our allies rather than coddling dictators, and helping average Americans get ahead economically. ”
      All Unconstitutional.

  • Avatar
    Tim Skow says:

    Perry sounds he’s talking right off DEM State Party Chair Mary Mancini’s page of talking points. I know Mr. Sethi and Mr. Hagerty and many who support each of them. What is… ”The TRUTH” … is that both Mr. Sethi and Mr. Hagerty are fine men, accomplished men, passionate about the future of this country and especially aware of the threats that illegal immigration, China, Iran with a bomb and more pose to America. Thankfully, in TN the WHINERS like Perry are in short supply, especially on Election Day(s) 🙂

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    David Collins says:

    The most serious threat to America is foreign tampering in our elections. I’m not talking about phony “news stories” or crap like that. I’m talking about efforts to hack into our election infrastructure and actually tamper with or change election results. There are at least three bipartisan bills in congress that have passed the House that would do things to thwart and/or repel such attempts but Mitch McConnell refuses to put them on the Senate calendar–even though both sides of the aisle have signed on to them. That is the real threat to America and McConnell’s stance makes one wonder whose side he is really on.

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    Kenneth Jordan says:

    Perry makes sense. Bill Hagerty is just using the ploy of what, in the trade, is called “negative advance.” In short, he is just whining over nothing. Go Manny Sethi!

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Come on Kenneth, to support Chairman Manny (“Chairman” because “OUTSIDER” Dr. Sethi was Chairman of the 2016 Statesmen’s Dinner, the Republican establishment’s flagship fundraising event) is one thing, but how can you be all that enthusiastic about it.

      Of course, you are right, Hagerty out of Central Casting is whining, and not very imaginatively whining at that. I hope no conservative Republican wastes a dime of money on this Hobson’s Choice Election between two plutocrats neither of whom has any conservative credentials that they have so far revealed when we conservatives have so many much more ideologically productive fish to fry.

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    Donna Locke says:

    I’ve noticed Stephen Elliott has reported crucial details on other topics that other reporters didn’t bother with or think to look into.

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    Eddie White says:

    If I have read one of these fundraising letters, I have read 1000. They all read out of the same playbook. I will pass on the contribution. I am sure both are fine men, but neither with a record, or the ability to find Hancock County.

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  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    Boy…that picture just begs for a different caption!

  • Avatar
    Brian Risner says:

    Haggerty is a moderate only the centrist Republican operatives want him;;Greg Gleaves, etc money suckers

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