Ramsey touts Blackburn bid in op-ed

Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn speaks at a business forum in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018 (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Former state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has penned an op-ed in the Johnson City Press touting Republican Marsha Blackburn’s U.S. Senate bid over Democrat Phil Bredesen.

“We saw the blue wave come crashing through Virginia last year, but we cannot allow that to happen here in Tennessee,” Ramsey writes.

“Do not buy Bredesen’s false promises to be a moderate,” he said. “He will not support the president, and he will not put your best interests before those of the national Democratic Party.”

UPDATE: Former state Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens has an op-ed running alongside Ramsey’s in support of Bredesen.

“This November, Tennesseans have a choice: they can either pick eight-term Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn who’s been helping to create gridlock in Washington for nearly two decades, or they can hire Gov. Phil Bredesen, an independent thinker who has a proven track record of working across the aisle to get things done for Tennessee,”Givens wrote.

Here’s Ramsey’s full op-ed:

November’s Senate election presents a clear choice between the candidates, their vision for the state, and the direction of our country for generations to come. It matters who governs, and that’s why I am whole heartedly supporting Marsha Blackburn for Senate.

The Democrats will try to get in our way as they push forward an idea of who Phil Bredesen is — but voters will see past his false promises that he will be a moderate voice in the Senate. Let me be very clear: a vote for Phil Bredesen is a vote for Chuck Schumer for majority leader. It is a vote to make Elizabeth Warren the Finance chair. It is a vote to make Dianne Feinstein the Judiciary chair. It is a vote to make Bernie Sanders the Budget chair. And it is a vote to remove Lamar Alexander as HELP Committee chair and replace him with Patty Murray, who supports government controlled healthcare.

It is also a question of Supreme Court justices and federal judges. Marsha will always support constitutionalist judges who will not legislate from the bench, but Chuck Schumer personally recruited Phil Bredesen and his allies have already committed millions of dollars to elect Bredesen. They will call in their chips during the confirmation process, and Bredesen will answer by opposing the president’s good nominee.

Do not buy Bredesen’s false promises to be a moderate. He will not support the president, and he will not put your best interests before those of the national Democratic Party.

He’s asking you to look back to his service as governor to convince you to vote for him. Look across the state line to Virginia at Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. They were considered moderate governors; they ran just as Bredesen is now — promising to work across the aisle — but think about how they have represented Virginia in the Senate. Tim Kaine has run so far to the left he became Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

We cannot let our next senator go down the same path. We need a senator who will always stand firm on the values we share and who will always do what’s best for Tennessee families. You can count on Marsha Blackburn. I am.

We saw the blue wave come crashing through Virginia last year, but we cannot allow that to happen here in Tennessee. As Marsha says, we have to make sure that blue wave stops, when it reaches the Tennessee state line. That requires all of us standing together — knocking on doors, making phone calls, talking with neighbors, family and friends, and most importantly, getting out the vote in November.

Marsha Blackburn will serve us well in the Senate, but it is incumbent on us to send her there. I urge you to join me in this effort.

And here is Givens’:

This year, Tennesseans get to hire a new U.S. senator. It’s an important job, with a hand in determining the direction of our state and our country. So when you and I step into the ballot box, we should ask ourselves — Who’s the best applicant for the job?

Just like any employer, Tennesseans need to evaluate each applicant’s resume, including what positive things they’ve done for Tennessee so far, and how they want to build on Tennessee’s success in the U.S. Senate.

This November, Tennesseans have a choice: they can either pick eight-term Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn who’s been helping to create gridlock in Washington for nearly two decades, or they can hire Gov. Phil Bredesen, an independent thinker who has a proven track record of working across the aisle to get things done for Tennessee.

Governor Bredesen knows that nothing is given and everything is earned. He has three big, bold ideas to get things done for Northeast Tennessee. First, his first act in Congress will be to introduce legislation that gives the Drug Enforcement Agency back its authority to go after large shipments of opioids. The DEA was stripped of this power by a law passed in 2016, allowing opioids to flood into Tennessee communities.

Second, Governor Bredesen wants to empower TVA to expand rural broadband throughout the region. He’d proposing a bold project for TVA to be empowered to live up to its original mission to “serve the people of the Tennessee Valley to help the region thrive and grow” — this time by connecting rural communities to broadband internet.

Third, Governor Bredesen has proposed to overhaul the federal student loan system, simplifying a process weighed down by bureaucratic red tape. Under Governor Bredesen’s plan, students would be able to pay into one loan system, borrow only up to a third of the cost of their institution, and pay the loan back over a 30-year period at a lower interest rate.

Governor Bredesen has made it clear that he’s applying for the job, but he also has a proven track record of getting things done for Northeast Tennessee.

Unlike the double-speak that we so often hear from long-time Washington politicians like Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn — who have been in office for years but have very little to show for it — his actions do all of the talking.

During his time as governor, Phil Bredesen was a champion for Northeast Tennessee. Our region was facing a shortage of pharmacists, In response, in 2005, Governor Bredesen helped establish the Gatton College Pharmacy at ETSU. Today, our region is reaping the rewards: The Gatton College of Pharmacy is on the front lines of the opioid crisis in Northeast Tennessee, fighting opioid addiction throughout our communities.

The Gatton College of Pharmacy is clear evidence of Governor Bredesen’s ability to take on tough problems, fix what’s broken, and get our state back on track.

Now, Governor Bredesen wants to take his experience and bring some fresh air to what has become a swamp of partisan shouting and inaction. He’s a practical and proven leader who will represent our needs and values of hard-work and determination to bring some Tennessee common-sense back to our government — not someone who’ll sit up there to do some of the same ole, same ole we’ve been getting from Congress. Governor Bredesen has made it clear: he’s applying for the job.

I am proud to cast my vote for Phil Bredesen, a true advocate for Tennesseans — and help him get the job. On Nov. 6, let’s hire Phil Bredesen to be our next U.S. senator.

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