The Democrat candidate for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, lauded the outgoing incumbent, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), for his opposition to President Donald Trump in a tweet sent out on Monday.
I respect Senator Corker for putting Tennessee ahead of Washington politics. These tariffs do a lot of damage to TN businesses. For my part, I call on every Democrat and Republican who cares about our state to stand with him on this. https://t.co/WTFZmT1onE
— Phil Bredesen (@PhilBredesen) June 4, 2018
Many Trump supporters view Trump’s rhetoric and actions on trade, including tariffs, as a part of the kind of tough negotiations on trade Americans elected Trump to carry out, as opposed to an endgame. With unpopular Republicans and Democrats like Phil Bredesen undermining Trump seemingly at every turn, it could make Trump’s efforts on the part of American workers that much more difficult.
As the Tennessean pointed out, Rep. Marsha Blackburn remains pro-trade but is willing to give Trump the latitude and leverage required for success in any tough negotiation. Meanwhile, both Corker and Bredesen appear to be more content to try and score cheap political points and continue to undermine the President at every turn.
The two top-tier candidates for Tennessee’s U.S. Senate seat are joining the ranks of politicians expressing concern about President Donald Trump’s recently implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Last week, the president moved forward with implementing a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The move was quickly met with criticism from the countries affected, which also said they planned on retaliating with their own tariffs on U.S.-made goods.
After the tariffs were implemented, Tennessee officials, including U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and Gov. Bill Haslam, expressed opposition to the president’s decision.
Over the weekend, Corker said on Twitter he was working with “like-minded” Republicans to “push back on the president” after sharing an editorial in the Wall Street Journal on the tariffs.
While it’s impossible to know precisely how the two different strategies may play out in the fall, Bredesen’s weakness and willingness to undermine Trump to score political points during what amount to trade negotiations seems reminiscent of the business as usual style of Washington many Tennessean’s voted for Trump to end.
Blackburn, in contrast, appears to be more inclined to fight for American workers and support a genuine change in tactics in Washington when it comes to trade, as The Tennessean noted:
While both candidates said they were concerned about the possible negative impacts the tariffs could have on Tennessee, Bredesen went further than his likely Republican opponent.
Both candidates, who are seeking the seat held by Corker, face nominal opposition in their respective primary elections.
In a statement, Bredesen called the increasing tension between the United States and its allies “troubling,” especially for Tennesseans who rely on the state’s agriculture and auto manufacturing economy.