After nearly three months of silence, Phil Bredesen issued a statement that says, in a roundabout way, he would vote yes for Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
The Democratic candidate for Tennessee’s vacant Senate seat said:
Presidents have the right to appoint justices who share their values – elections have consequences. I believe a Senator’s responsibility to ‘advise and consent’ is not a license to indulge in partisanship, but should focus on the qualifications of the nominee, their ethics and their temperament.
I believed that Judge Kavanaugh initially met this test, and I was prepared to say ‘yes’ to his nomination prior to Dr. Ford’s coming forward. While the subsequent events make it a much closer call, and I am missing key pieces of information that a sitting Senator has, I’m still a ‘yes.’
Dr. Ford is a heroine, and has brought forcefully into the national conversation the many barriers women face in reporting and dealing with sexual harassment and assault. I was disgusted by the treatment she received at the hands of the Senate and am determined to help bring about a fairer and far more respectful treatment of these issues.”
Bredesen, a former Tennessee governor, has received a great deal of criticism for refusing to say where he stood on Kavanaugh’s nomination, even though making such decisions is at the core of the job to which he aspires.
Earlier this week his opponent, U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) released a video pointing out their differences (she has indicated strong support for the judge). The video includes footage from where a mostly Democratic crowd in Chattanooga booed Bredesen when he sidestepped the Kavanaugh issue. That video is available here.
Scott Golden, the Tennessee Republican Party chairman, issued this statement about Bredesen’s new-found voice regarding Kavanaugh:
After 88 days, and once it was clear that Judge Kavanaugh would be confirmed, Senate Democrat boss Chuck Schumer has finally given Phil Bredesen permission to give his position on the nomination. This process has shown a clear contrast between the two candidates: Marsha Blackburn has been upfront and honest that she will vote to confirm constitutionalist judges and justices every time; Phil Bredesen has hemmed, hawed, delayed, and given every excuse imaginable before telling voters how he would vote. Marsha Blackburn stands with Tennesseans always, Phil Bredesen only does when its convenient.”
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.