Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), the GOP candidate to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) in the November general election, led Tennessee Republicans on Monday evening in praising President Donald Trump and his nominee for justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh will make a fine Supreme Court Justice, and I thank President Trump for nominating a strong constitutionalist with a proven track record of upholding the rule of law,” Blackburn said in a statement included in this tweet sent out at 9:27 pm eastern, just 20 minutes after Trump announced his pick:
Tennesseans will be well served by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and I encourage the Senate to consider his nomination expeditiously and to continue to confirm strict constitutionalist judges to our federal courts. pic.twitter.com/CD3NclJiop
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) July 10, 2018
In contrast, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, offered no comments on the president’s pick of Kavanaugh.
Instead, Bredesen’s campaign released this statement during the day on Monday “in advance of President Trump’s nomination of a new justice to the U.S. Supreme Court,” which largely restated the words Bredesen used in a campaign commercial last month:
“An important part of a Senator’s job is to approve or reject appointments the President makes to the Judiciary. In the Senate, I’ll vote for or against a nominee based solely on whether I believe them to be highly qualified and ethical — not based on partisan politics. Looking ahead: the President’s Supreme Court nominee deserves a fair and timely confirmation hearing. This is an opportunity for the Senate to get back to basics and show it can do its job.
I’ll be watching the process carefully, formulating my thoughts based on the qualifications presented, holding my judgement until after the hearings conclude and then sharing with Tennesseans how I would vote.”
But Bredesen’s pretense of deliberative moderation was immediately belied by the vicious partisan attacks launched against President Trump’s SCOTUS pick by Bredesen’s friend and ideological ally, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the man who recruited him to run for the Senate.
“I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same,” Schumer said Monday night, shortly after Trump announced his pick.
“The stakes are simply too high for anything less,” Schumer added.
Minutes after President Trump’s announcement Monday evening that Kavanaugh was his pick,Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden released a statement criticizing Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen’s stance on the Supreme Court.
“Phony Phil Bredesen already has two million reasons to fall in line with Chuck Schumer’s agenda – the top of that list is blocking the President’s good nominees to the Supreme Court,” Golden said.
“He can spew moderate talking points all he wants, but the fact remains national Democrats who are propping up his candidacy will call on him to block Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, and he will fall right in line. After all he was personally recruited by Chuck Schumer. Tennesseans want a Senator who will support the President’s good constitutionalist nominees like Judge Kavanaugh, and they can’t trust Phil Bredesen to do that,” he added.
The Tennessee Republican Party noted that “Earlier this month, the Democratic Senate Majority PAC, which is run by Chuck Schumer’s closest allies, booked at least $2 million in television ads in Tennessee,” according to a July 2 article in The Hill.
In April, Bredesen went to New York City, where Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) held an exclusive fundraiser for him, as The Star reported:
Former Gov. Phil Bredesen, the 74-year-old “new hope” for Democrats in Tennessee who is running unopposed for his party’s U.S. Senate nomination, launched a television ad last week in which he said “I’m not running against Donald Trump. Despite that claim, Bredesen is headed to a high end restaurant near New York City’s Central Park in Manhattan to raise big money from Never Trump liberals who want to destroy Trump’s presidency and the GOP.
After Schumer’s released his statement declaring he will oppose the Kavanaugh nomination “with everything I have,” the Tennessee Republican Party punched back at both Schumer and Bredesen in a second statement Monday evening.
“Chuck Schumer recruiting Phil Bredesen to run for the Senate has, without a doubt, always been a part of his plan for a full frontal partisan attack against any nominee from President Trump. His ‘everything he’s got’ would 100% include Phil Bredesen if elected,” the statement said. (emphasis added)
“While Phil Bredesen can pretend he would give serious consideration to any Supreme Court nominee from President Trump, you have ask, with Chuck Schumer and liberal Democratic PACs committing millions of dollars to the Senate race in Tennessee, would Phil Bredesen even have a choice?” the statement concluded. (emphasis added)
GOP gubernatorial candidate Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06) released a statement praising Trump’s pick of Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court less than 15 minutes after the president made the announcement.
“I applaud President Trump for choosing to nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court,” Black said in a statement released by her campaign at 9:22 pm eastern.
“While Mr. Kavanaugh’s qualifications to defend the constitution and uphold the law speak for themselves, his conservative perspective is one the high court sorely needs. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to quickly confirm him, and I look forward to seeing the ways he impacts the court,” Black concluded.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd tweeted his praise for the Kavanaugh announcement just a few minutes later:
Congratulations @POTUS on an outstanding Supreme Court nominee in Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Tennessee can play an important role in supporting President Trump in this process by sending conservative leadership to Washington and electing @VoteMarsha #ScotusPick #Kavanaugh #SCOTUS https://t.co/M06sgZw6pc
— Randy Boyd (@randyboyd) July 10, 2018
GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee’s Twitter account offered no comment on the president’s SCOTUS pick Monday evening, and his campaign did not respond to a request for comment from The Tennessee Star.
Similarly, GOP gubernatorial candidate Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell’s Twitter account offered no comment on the president’s SCOTUS pick Monday evening, and her campaign did not respond to a request for comment from The Star.
Just hours before Trump’s announcement he was nominating Kavanaugh, outgoing Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) said he will not hold up President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to demand a vote on reining in the President’s tariff authority.
Tweeted Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur, “Bob Corker—like Jeff Flake—tells me he has no plans to hold up Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to demand a vote on curbing his tariff authority.”
Bob Corker—like Jeff Flake—tells me he has no plans to hold up Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to demand a vote on curbing his tariff authority.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) July 9, 2018
GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee expressed his support for President Trump’s SCOTUS pick in this tweet on Tuesday morning:
Brett Kavanaugh is an excellent pick for SCOTUS. He is a strong defender of the Constitution and he deserves a swift confirmation in the Senate. This is also a reminder on the importance of keeping conservatives in the Senate like @VoteMarsha to ensure confirmation.
— Bill Lee (@BillLeeTN) July 10, 2018