A new sixty second digital ad from the Phil Bredesen campaign is targeting Republican votes by promoting carefully selective clips of Republicans saying good things about his time as Governor. The ad features comments from former Trump surrogate and conservative commentator Scottie Hughes, Tennessee Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03), frequent Trump critic Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), lobbyist and former Hendersonville State Representative Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville), and lobbyist Bill Phillips (who served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor under Democrat Mayor of Nashville, Bill Purcell).
Phil Bredesen ad “Republicans” transcript:
Scottie Hughes: “Folks do not realize this, a lot of Trump supporters are also Phil Bredesen supporters. And we have two Republican Governors who fought for an income tax and fought for a gas tax but you never saw a tax being fought for by Phil Bredesen.”
Bob Corker: “Phil Bredesen is a friend of mine. I mean, OK. I have worked with him for 23 years. We worked together to bring the Titans to our state. When I became a Senator and he was Governor we worked to bring Volkswagen to our state. He was a very good Mayor; very good Governor; very good business person.”
Chuck Fleischmann: “He had a very strong fiscal relationship with a lot of the business people in the state. And he did a good job as Governor.”
Debra Maggart: “He did a lot of good things in our state, like fix TennCare.”
Bill Phillips: “The Republicans I’m talking with, I’ve been surprised at the number of them say, well, you know he was a pretty good Governor. Tennesseans like somebody who represents Tennessee.”
None of the individuals featured in the ad have endorsed Bredesen. In fact several are strongly supporting Republican Marsha Blackburn, including Hughes, Maggart and Fleischmann. Corker himself has endorsed Blackburn.
The Blackburn campaign is pushing back against the ad. “This election is not about the past,” Abbi Sigler, a Blackburn campaign spokeswoman, said in response to the ad. “It is about the future, and Chuck Schumer has already bought and paid for Phil Bredesen’s vote in the Senate. If Phil Bredesen were to get to Washington, his first vote would be for Chuck Schumer for Majority Leader.”
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill pointed out that the ad is likely to be cut down to thirty seconds if it is used as a television spot rather than a digital ad appearing only online. “The fact that Bredesen is trying to deceive voters into thinking he has significant Republican support by splicing comments and taking them out of context is the same kind of thing he is doing when he pretends he is not a ‘hyper-partisan liberal Democrat.’ His actions speak louder than the deceptive quotes he pulls from others.”