Campaign workers at Democrat Phil Bredesen’s campaign offices in Nashville say he was lying when he said on Friday that he would vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court if he were a member of the U.S. Senate, as revealed in an undercover video on Wednesday.
“It’s a political move,” Bredesen campaign field organizer Maria Amalla said of Bredesen’s Friday announcement in the video released late Wednesday by Project Veritas Action.
“So he’s trying to make up those points,” she added.
“Seventy-four percent of Tennesseans wanted to see Kavanaugh confirmed. So, I, like, this isn’t like, what is it ? … messaging or anything. But like, logically, based on those numbers and what I’ve seen is that he had already known that that gap between him and her has grown more. And so, he thought that, like by coming out in support [of confirming Kavanaugh] that it would get more Republicans on his side. He wasn’t doing as well in the rural parts. And so, what he’s banking on is for people who are, like, Democrats and stuff, to, like, still come out and vote,” Amalla continued.
Project Veritas Action sent a female undercover reporter into the Bredesen for Senate campaign offices to find out the truth behind the Senate candidate’s belated “yes” to support Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, bringing “that” out of the walls.
The video appears to have been filmed in the campaign’s Nashville West End office at 117 28th Ave. N., which is on Floors 2 and 3, going by a sign shown in the video referring to those floors some time after former Tennessee Governor Bredesen, after nearly three months of silence, issued a tepid statement on Friday that said, in a roundabout way, he would vote yes for Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court the following day, Saturday, by a 50 to 48 vote, with only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) casting a “yes” vote to confirm.
Bredesen trails Republican Senate nominee Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) by eight points in the most recent CBS Poll and by 18 points in the most recent New York Times Poll in the November election to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).
Republicans have been saying Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was telling Bredesen to stay quiet on the matter until the nomination had virtually been secured.
Project Veritas Action (PVA) is a 501(c)(4) political advocacy group that investigates politicians and private institutions for perceived corrupt practices using undercover journalists and “guerrilla reporting.”
PVA released the undercover video, at a length of 4 minutes and 37 seconds, on Wednesday evening.
In the video, the journalist said she could not believe Bredesen would vote to confirm Kavanaugh.
Campaign worker Will Stewart, who appears to be a 2016 graduate of Vanderbilt University, said, “He wouldn’t. But he’s saying he would.”
Someone identified as Vikrum, with the campaign, said, “It’s politics.”
Stewart then said, “Which I don’t know if it makes it worse or better. No, it makes it better, but it’s still …”
The journalist asked what Bredesen gains by saying yes.
Chandler Burgess, of the campaign, said, “Moderate Republicans. Possibly.”
The journalist continues asking if Bredesen would vote for Kavanaugh.
James Miller, voter protection worker for the campaign, said, “I don’t think so.”
Miller continued, “Once you’re in, six years, you’re gonna do the right thing.”
Miller added that Bredesen has always been a good Democrat.
The journalist asked if it’s a political move, and Miller said yes. “But isn’t that gross?”
The journalist said, “It is.”
Miller said, “Yeah. That’s like the way it has to go.”
The reporter said it is a shame Bredesen has to lie.
Miller said, “I know. I know. Tell me about it. Unfortunately, that’s reality.”
The journalist said, “For me, it just feels like a suicide mission.”
The reporter asked Stewart, “Are the people of Tennessee that ignorant?”
“Yeah,” Stewart said flatly.
The journalist says, “Are they that dumb to put somebody like in that power?”
Stewart again said simply, “Yeah.”
Later, Stewart said that when Bredesen is in the Senate, “he’ll be a good Democrat,” and laughed.
He said, “it will be the start of something big.” The reporter asks if it is the resistance. He said, “Yeah. Yeah. We don’t, we don’t say that out of these walls. But here, of course we talk about that. Cause it’s so funny. The message is like, don’t talk about the blue wave.”
Stewart and the reporter laugh together. He acknowledges that running against President Donald Trump is “why we’re all here.”
Bredesen “hates Trump” and will not be running for re-election, so he can go to the Senate “and do the right thing,” Stewart said.
One campaign worker adds that telling this to callers would “scare off” people who would support Bredesen but not Schumer.
The Tennessee Star undertook a preliminary review of the recent Federal Election Commission filings of the Bredesen for Senate campaign, and was unable to identify any of the individuals filmed in the undercover video by Project Veritas as recipients of salary payments by the campaign, though they were observed in positions of authority and apparently exercising authority at the Bredesen campaign offices by the Project Veritas team.
If not paid directly by the campaign, these Bredesen campaign workers could be either unpaid volunteers, or campaign workers paid by entities connected to the Bredesen Senate campaign.
You can watch the full four minute and 37 second video released by Project Veritas on Wednesday here:
You can read the full transcript of the four minute and 37 second video here:
Journalist: I was so confused because I just can’t believe that he would actually vote yes [to confirm Kavanaugh].
Bredesen campaign worker Will Stewart: He wouldn’t. But he’s saying he would.
Campaign worker Vikrum: It’s politics.
Stewart: Which, I don’t know if it makes it worse or better. No, it makes it better, but it’s still
Journalist: But, still, I don’t understand what’s to gain by saying yes.
Campaign worker Chandler Burgess: Moderate Republicans. Possibly, I mean
Stewart: In their defense, at the doors yesterday there were people who said they’re voting for him.
Journalist: Because he said.
Stewart: Not many, but . . .
Journalist: Because, I mean he [Phil Bredesen] wouldn’t really [vote to confirm Kavanaugh], right?
James Miller, Voter Protection, Bredesen campaign: I don’t think so. Um, and I think it’s not reassuring, but it’s something that I think gives me . . . The feeling is that of reassurance, but it’s certainly not reassuring. I think much like Doug Jones, or somebody,
Journalist: Who did you say?
Miller: Doug Jones of Alabama. That guy didn’t vote for him [Kavanaugh]. Phil Bredesen’s not going to vote for him [Kavanaugh]. The only reason Joe Manchin did is he’s running right now.
Miller: Once you’re in, six years, you’re gonna do the right thing.
Journalist: He’ll be a good Democrat, I know he will.
Miller: 100 percent. Always has been.
Journalist: It’s just a political move, right?
Journalist: That’s the only way I can…
Miller: But, isn’t it gross?
Miller: Yeah, that’s like the way it has to go
Journalist: I just hate that he has to like lie to get that vote
Miller: I know, I know. Tell me about it. Unfortunately, that’s reality
Journalist: Just for me, it just feels like a suicide mission.
Maria Amalla, field organizer for the Bredesen campaign: Yeah
Journalist: Like, why would you say yes if you would really say no [about whether you would vote to confirm Kavanaugh]. You know?
Amalla: Yeah, because it’s like a political move and so he’s trying to make up those points. Seventy-four percent of Tennesseans wanted to see Kavanaugh confirmed. So, I, like, this isn’t like, what is it ? … messaging or anything. But like, logically, based on those numbers and what I’ve seen is that he had already known that that gap between him and her has grown more. And so, he thought that, like by coming out in support [of confirming Kavanaugh] that it would get more Republicans on his side. He wasn’t doing as well in the rural parts. And so, what he’s banking on is for people who are, like, Democrats and stuff, to, like, still come out and vote.
Journalist: That’s why I wish Phil would just say . . .
Stewart: I know.
Journalist: Me and Maria talked a little bit about it yesterday and it’s like I get it, but I don’t get it.
Stewart: I know.
Journalist: Is it because of, like, the voters?
Stewart: Yeah. Yeah, that’s it
Journalist: So, he’ll lose voters if he says yes [to not confirming Kavanaugh]?
Stewart: Oh, straight up, yeah.
Journalist: Are the people of Tennessee that ignorant?
Journalist: Are they that dumb to want to put somebody like that in power?
Journalist: I know that Phil is very . . .
Journalist: But I also know like I’ld like to think in my little heart that he’s not a super fan of Trump, but . . .
Stewart: He’s not
Stewart: Between you and me, once Phil actually gets into the Senate, he’ll be a good Democrat. But, yeah
Stewart: And it’s also just the start of something big, you know?
Journalist: The resistance.
Stewart: Yeah. Yeah. We don’t say that oust of these walls. But here, of course, we talk about that. Cause it’s so funny. The message is, like, don’t talk about the blue wave.
We’re not running against Trump. All this sort of stuff. Even though that’s all why we are all here. We can’t put it out there.
Journalist: I can’t help but think that Phil is the same way though.
Stewart. Oh yeah. Oh, he hates Trump, like yeah.
He’s not going to be running for re-election. He can get in there and do the right thing.
Bredesen staffer: Did you hear about that?
Stewart: The Blue wave?
Staffer: Yeah, you can’t say that too often here.
Journalist: I don’t understand why, though?
Stewart: We’re allowed to say it, but it’s off message
Staffer: Yeah, the others?
Journalist: What others?
Stewart: Like, campaign-wide, it’s not our message. You can say it in here, but like on those calls and stuff, that’s not a message we want to be sending. Because we’re not running…
Bredesen campaign worker Drew: We would scare all the people who would vote for Phil Bredesen but not Chuck Schumer
Stewart: Yeah, exactly, because there’s a lot of people who are Republicans who are going to vote for him, but . . .
Journalist: So if they know he’s like… I don’t want to say that he’s aligned with Chuck Schumer, but the would be like he’s in cahoots.
Journalist: Yeah, exactly
Journalist: Then, they would be like, no-go.
Stewart: Yeah, and that’s how they’re messaging against us.