Bill Lee Embraces Gov. Haslam’s Legacy

Steve Gill

On Tuesday’s Gill Report, broadcast live on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville, conservative pundit and Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill contemplated the contradiction of Bill Haslam’s endorsement of Bill Lee – whose base was turned off by Randy Boyd’s campaign because of his ties to Haslam.

“As the campaign in the Tennessee Governor’s race turns from the primary to the general election. You’re starting to see the endorsements flow in,” Gill began.

He added, “President Trump has endorsed Bill Lee for governor. He’s also endorsed Marsha Blackburn as we’ve pointed out in the last segment. Also, Bill Haslam the current Republican Governor is endorsing Bill Lee as well, putting his support in an ad that’s been produced by the Republican Governor’s Association chaired by Governor Bill Haslam behind Bill Lee.”

Gill played the audio of the 30-second spot featuring Governor Haslam:

(Audio plays)

BILL HASLAM: For eight years I’ve had the privilege of being your Governor. Together, we’ve made a lot of progress. More people have jobs than ever before. Our taxes are lower, our students are improving faster than anywhere in the country, Tennessee is stronger than ever, Bill Lee is the right choice to take Tennessee to the next level. We can trust him to make the right decisions, not the political ones. He’s been doing that his whole life. I’m asking you to join me in supporting Bill Lee,  for Governor.”

(Audio ends)

Gill continued:

So, Governor Bill Haslam is putting his support behind Bill Lee for Governor, which is not surprising. You’ve got a Republican Governor, Chairman of the Republican Governors Association clearly wanting to make sure that Tennessee stays in the Republican fold.

Here’s where it’s interesting. Not only on election night did Bill Lee indicate he wants to continue the legacy of Bill Haslam but now Bill Haslam is wanting Bill Lee to continue his legacy. I thought the Bill Lee supporters were opposing Randy Boyd because he would just be Bill Haslam 2.0? I thought that was a big factor in why some of his supporters where adamantly opposed to Randy Boyd but were supportive of Bill Lee.

Well if were still going to get Bill Haslam 2.0 with Bill Lee, how do the Bill Lee supporters feel about that? If that was a big factor in who they chose to support. Now again, I’m happy to see a Republican Governor get elected I don’t have a problem with us following a Republican with a Republican.

I just think it’s kind of interesting that the same people who were literally apoplectic about the idea of a Randy Boyd continuing the kinds of administrative focus that we saw from Bill Haslam, whether it was economic growth, whether it was on education policy or any other host of others, being now completely down with Bill Lee doing the exact same thing.

Maybe it was more personality than policy. But at least some of the folks that had been so visceral in their attacks on Randy Boyd because he was tied to Haslam who are now supporting Bill Lee ought to at least apologize to Randy Boyd.

Listen to the segment:

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5 Thoughts to “Bill Lee Embraces Gov. Haslam’s Legacy”

  1. Susan E Gingrich

    Every single person who voted for Bill Lee needs to contact him to advise him of what we expect for our vote in November, including a commitment to appoint genuine conservatives like Mae Beavers to his cabinet and other positions. Apparently, his learning curve is continuing. # Make TN state government conservative for a real change!

  2. 83ragtop50

    Mr. Lee sounds like just another Bill Haslam which is not the best for Tennessee. His campaign topics could have been just rehashed versions of what Haslam put out. The sad thing is that Dean is 10 times worse. So is time to hold your nose and vote for Lee then hope and pray that the State Assembly runs more like a red state than a blue state.

  3. lb

    This is exactly why I supported Diane Black–there wasnt an inch of difference between Boyd and Lee–both Rino squishes. The only reason I will vote for him is to prevent gov dean but Lee is going to be just another”moderate” Rino

  4. John Bumpus

    We Tennessee Republicans all should want Bill Lee to be our next Governor instead of Karl Dean—I certainly do. We must come together behind Mr. Lee and work for his election. Now is not the time for inter-party ‘squabbling.’ After that—assuming that Lee is elected—there will be plenty of time to discuss and deal with whatever differences we may have with each other (and there ALWAYS will be differences when two or more are involved in doing anything—that’s just basic human nature). So let’s all come together and work to win this gubernatorial race for Bill Lee.

  5. Terry

    A central plank of Bill Lee’s campaign has been to reduce the size of government and to migrate what’s left to the county and municipality level.

    As part of that objective, he wants to get the government out of social services and transfer that function to faith-based and community-based providers. In other words, eliminate the welfare state in favor of charity. In order for government to provide for some, it must have the power to take from others, that’s the essence of the welfare state. In turn, the welfare state eliminates the virtue and morality inherent to charity.

    The collectivists are squealing that this will turns our state into a theocracy, which conveniently ignores the “community-based” half of that equation.

    Morality aside, the pragmatic benefit in effecting that transfer is two-fold: one is to give the local providers more flexibility in determining who needs what; and, two, is to remove the cloak of anonymity that a more centralized approach provides. Removing that anonymity is key to identifying and eradicating fraud and abuse.

    To the extent that Bill Lee is effective in developing policies that deliver a better education for our children, a safer home to raise them in, and a better job to provide for that – I’m all for it. I couldn’t care less whether that follows Gov. Haslam’s lead or not. In fact, Bill Lee could change his name to Hillary Clinton and I still couldn’t care less.