Trump bashes Bredesen, embraces Blackburn at Nashville rally

In a Nashville rally Tuesday, President Donald Trump declared former Gov. Phil Bredesen “an absolute total tool” of Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and urged Tennessee Republican voters not to become complacent in backing Republican Marsha Blackburn for the U.S. Senate.

From the AP’s report:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of being an “MS-13 lover” and dismissed a Democratic Senate candidate as a “tool” of Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a line of attack likely to become familiar as he boosts Republican congressional candidates ahead of midterm elections.

Trump’s visit to Nashville, Tennessee, promoted the Senate candidacy of Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who was expected to face former Gov. Phil Bredesen in the race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker. Besides headlining a private fundraiser for Blackburn, he used a public rally to urge supporters not to become “complacent” this fall while Democrats were “sticking together” to block his agenda.

“He’s a tool of Chuck Schumer and of course the MS-13 lover Nancy Pelosi,” Trump said. Earlier this month, the House Democratic leader criticized Trump’s rhetoric and policies on immigrants after he called members of the international gang “animals.”

Trump added that Bredesen had donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, saying, “Phil Bredesen supported her and he supported her ideas.”

Trump plans a series of political rallies and events to brand Democrats as obstructionists. He said his supporters can’t sit back and relax this fall after working to elect him in 2016. “That’s the worst thing that can happen,” he said.

“In November, we will reverse a trend,” Trump added, alluding to recent precedent in which the party holding the White House tends to lose congressional seats.

He said of Democrats, “They’re bad at everything but they’re good at sticking together,” and appealed for GOP unity come November.

The president held a similar rally in Indiana earlier this month, appearing with Republican businessman Mike Braun and ripping Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly as a “swamp person” who refused to aid the GOP agenda. Trump will also raise money for GOP candidates in Texas on Thursday.

Trump is using the campaign appearances to mobilize his core backers by highlighting his accomplishments in office, like improving economic indicators and moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and resurrecting some of his go-to lines from the 2016 campaign.

“I don’t want to cause a problem, but in the end, Mexico’s gonna pay for the wall,” Trump said of his signature campaign promise.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto quickly replied to Trump, writing Tuesday on his Twitter account — in English, which Pena Nieto seldom does — “NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever. Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).”

Further from The Tennessean:

“If Bredesen were ever to get elected, he’d do whatever Chuck and Nancy (want),” the president said, referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Trump said if the audience wanted safe communities and schools they need to “go out and get the Democrats the hell out of office.” 

“You have to work with Marsha,” Trump said. “We have to get the votes. We need the votes.” 

In classic Trump fashion, the president poked fun at Bredesen, at times saying he’d never heard of the former governor and Nashville mayor. At one point, Trump said the “very liberal” Bredesen — who he called “Philbert” — was recruited by Schumer and Pelosi.

After the attacks, a spokeswoman for Bredesen’s campaign said when he wins he will vote in the best interest of Tennesseans. 

“Governor Bredesen has made it clear that if President Trump proposes something that’s good for Tennessee, then he’ll support it,” Bredesen spokeswoman Alyssa Hansen said. “Bottom line: Phil Bredesen is an independent thinker with a proven record of working with Democrats and Republicans.”

… Blackburn made a brief speech, in which she cited Trump’s work on issues ranging from North Korea to defeating ISIS.

Blackburn made a brief speech, in which she cited Trump’s work on issues ranging from North Korea to defeating ISIS.

“Tennessee needs a senator who is going to support President Donald Trump,” Blackburn said. “I am going to be there to stand with President Donald Trump and take your Tennessee values to Washington, D.C. to fight with him and get the job done.”

Blackburn and Trump embraced on stage.

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