In an exclusive interview with Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill on Friday, U.S. Senate hopeful Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) hit her Democratic opponent square in the jaw, calling him out over one of his greatest vulnerablities.
“Chuck Schumer has bought and paid for Phil Bredesen’s vote,” Blackburn told Gill.
Senator Schumer (D-NY)- who is currently the Senate Minority Leader and is poised to become Senate Majority Leader should the Democrats’ “blue wave” come to the U.S. Senate in this November’s midterm elections – is said to have personally recruited Bredesen out of retirement to run when Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) opted not to run for a third term
“When you look at the Senate race that you’re in the midst of, what we hear from Phil Bredesen is that he’s going to be a different kind of Democrat – but you don’t see different kinds of Democrats in the Senate. And when we look at what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are saying – Chuck Schumer has recruited Phil Bredesen into this race – they want to raise taxes if they get back in control of the Senate and the House,” Gill noted.
Blackburn made it clear Bredesen is definitely not “a different kind of Democrat.”
“Well, they’ve said, that one of the first things they’re going to do is repeal the Trump tax cuts. And when you look at my race I think it’s important to realize that Chuck Schumer has bought and paid for Phil Bredesen’s vote,” Blackburn began. (emphasis added)
“And he is someone who has said – Bredesen has said – he would have voted against the tax cuts,” she continued, adding:
We know that when he was governor, he gave driving certificates to illegal aliens – and if you’ve done that, then how are you going to be a ‘different kind of Democrat’ and support building a wall and support banning sanctuary cities and support ending chain migration and do this with no amnesty?
When you think about those issues – those are the top issues for Tennesseans.
Blackburn’s statement about the true nature of the political debt Bredesen owes Schumer comes at about 7:30 minutes into the 21 minute interview, which you can watch in its entirety here below:
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Gill began the interview.
“A very long time,” Blackburn agreed.
“It’s great to have a conversation where we can hear each other, when there’s not all that horn honking going on,” Gill noted, referencing the historic role that activist citizens played in stopping the enactment of a state income tax in Tennessee in 2000, when Blackburn played a key role in that effort as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly.
“Your participation in stopping that income tax, and getting people out, it was so vital. You and Phil Valentine. . . Great stories for people who want to talk to their children about civic involvement,” Blackburn said.
“I have to tell you, when I am around the state, I love it when people come up to me and say, ‘Hey Marsha, I was a horn honker!’ or ‘Hey Marsha, I was only eight years old, but I was out there!’, ” she added.
“That was the Tea Party before there was a Tea Party,” Gill said.
“You know, it really was,” Blackburn agreed. “It really was the genesis of this conservative revolution in our state, in our country, that is the calls for ‘let’s give government back to the people.’ . . . That participation in stopping that state income tax, and putting our state on a different path has paid enormous dividends,” Blackburn added.
Gill talked to Blackburn about both her background growing up in Mississippi, and the most important issues facing the country.
For Blackburn, the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which she voted for and was signed into law in December, combined with the Trump administration’s dramatic reduction in unnecessary regulations, have resulted in tremendous economic growth throughout the country, as evidence by the announcement on Friday that the Gross Domestic Product of the economy grew at a 4.1 percent annual growth rate during the second quarter of 2018.
The Democrats, she noted, did nothing to make that happen.
“There was not one single Democrat in either the House or the Senate that voted for the Trump Tax Cut,” Blackburn noted.
“Indeed, Phil Bredesen, who is my opponent, said he would have voted no. He called them [the tax cuts] crumbs,” she added.
That big tax cut “averaging about $1,700 per family in Tennessee is not crumbs!” she pointed out.
Gill asked Blackburn to tell readers of The Tennessee Star about her background before she became a member of Congress.
“I grew up on a small farm in South Mississippi and went to school at Mississippi State,” Blackburn told him.
I went to school on a 4-H scholarship. Very involved with my community. My family always said “Give back more than you take. Leave things in better shape than you found them.”
My dad sold oil field equipment supplies. My mother was a professional volunteer, as she called herself. She was very involved in our lives. At school. At church. 4-H Clubs.
I have a brother and a sister. Lots of cousins that were around in Mississippi. So we had a huge big extended family. Always a lot of accountability.
“When I went to school at Mississippi State, I realized that my 4-H scholarship was not going to pay for everything I wanted to do in college,” Blackburn continued.
My brother had this great job, and he could earn as much money as he could get out there and work and earn.
He got to work on straight commission, which sounded really good to me. And it was a job selling books door-to-door. The company–the Southwestern Company–was headquartered in Nashville.
I wanted to do that job. Because I wanted the opportunity to make that kind of money. When I asked my brother to recruit me, I found out there was only one problem. The company did not recruit women. They didn’t have teams of women. So we worked a situation where they agreed to recruit me, but I would have to stay at home in Mississippi and sell, which I did my first summer. Earned three thousand two hundred forty-six dollars and forty-three cents. Which was great! Big dollars in those days, Steve!
“Then the next year I recruited women from Mississippi State, and then went on to become a sales manager, one of the first female sales managers, of course, and helped to build the women’s division at the Southwestern Company, and then married a bookseller from Texas named Chuck Blackburn,” she noted.
“We actually met over at a sales school here in Nashville, over at Belmont College. We have been here in Williamson County, raised our children here, they both live in the area,” Blackburn added.
The Tennessee Star will continue its series of interviews with political candidate throughout the remainder of election year 2018.