Republicans are checking the facts about Phil Bredesen’s “phony” claims to have balanced the state budget when he was governor, pointing out Tennessee’s constitution requires a balanced budget.
“Phil Bredesen is touting his budgetary accomplishments in a recent ad, but he’s not giving Tennesseans the full story,” the Tennessee Republican Party said in a statement.
Bredesen, a former Democratic governor, is running for the seat being vacated by U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), who is retiring. His opponent is U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07).
The Tennessee Republican Party says their latest video shows “Bredesen doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”
The video is available to watch here.
Tennessee has balanced its budget every year since voters approved a balanced budget amendment to the state Constitution in 1978.
The GOP points out how Bredesen fails to say that as governor he raised taxes and fees by nearly $1 billion, citing a 2010 story by the Times Free Press, and “raided hundreds of millions of dollars from the state’s highway fund so that he could pay for his own budgetary priorities.”
“Our state constitution has strictly prohibited anything other than a balanced budget since 1978, so it’s pretty rich for Phil Bredesen to claim that he’s the only reason for our state’s fiscal discipline,” Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden said in the statement. “We’re proud of keeping the budget balanced in Tennessee, but now Bredesen opposes a Constitutional amendment to keep the federal budget balanced? Phil can’t have it both ways, and Tennesseans are seeing him for the phony he is.”
The Senate Leadership Fund ad, titled “Out of Touch,” highlights Bredesen’s 30-year record of supporting higher taxes and fees, and his opposition to the recently passed tax reform legislation.
“Phil Bredesen is an out-of-touch multimillionaire who raised taxes and fees on Tennessee taxpayers by over $1 billion,” said Senate Leadership Fund Spokesman Chris Pack. “Bredesen never saw a tax hike that he didn’t like, which explains why he was so resolutely opposed to the Trump tax cuts that are helping Tennessee’s families and jobs.”
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.