On Tuesday’s Gill Report, broadcast live on WETR 92.3 FM in Knoxville, conservative pundit and Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill contemplated the contradiction of Bill Haslam’s endorsement of Bill Lee – whose base was turned off by Randy Boyd’s campaign because of his ties to Haslam.
“As the campaign in the Tennessee Governor’s race turns from the primary to the general election. You’re starting to see the endorsements flow in,” Gill began.
He added, “President Trump has endorsed Bill Lee for governor. He’s also endorsed Marsha Blackburn as we’ve pointed out in the last segment. Also, Bill Haslam the current Republican Governor is endorsing Bill Lee as well, putting his support in an ad that’s been produced by the Republican Governor’s Association chaired by Governor Bill Haslam behind Bill Lee.”
Gill played the audio of the 30-second spot featuring Governor Haslam:
BILL HASLAM: For eight years I’ve had the privilege of being your Governor. Together, we’ve made a lot of progress. More people have jobs than ever before. Our taxes are lower, our students are improving faster than anywhere in the country, Tennessee is stronger than ever, Bill Lee is the right choice to take Tennessee to the next level. We can trust him to make the right decisions, not the political ones. He’s been doing that his whole life. I’m asking you to join me in supporting Bill Lee, for Governor.”
So, Governor Bill Haslam is putting his support behind Bill Lee for Governor, which is not surprising. You’ve got a Republican Governor, Chairman of the Republican Governors Association clearly wanting to make sure that Tennessee stays in the Republican fold.
Here’s where it’s interesting. Not only on election night did Bill Lee indicate he wants to continue the legacy of Bill Haslam but now Bill Haslam is wanting Bill Lee to continue his legacy. I thought the Bill Lee supporters were opposing Randy Boyd because he would just be Bill Haslam 2.0? I thought that was a big factor in why some of his supporters where adamantly opposed to Randy Boyd but were supportive of Bill Lee.
Well if were still going to get Bill Haslam 2.0 with Bill Lee, how do the Bill Lee supporters feel about that? If that was a big factor in who they chose to support. Now again, I’m happy to see a Republican Governor get elected I don’t have a problem with us following a Republican with a Republican.
I just think it’s kind of interesting that the same people who were literally apoplectic about the idea of a Randy Boyd continuing the kinds of administrative focus that we saw from Bill Haslam, whether it was economic growth, whether it was on education policy or any other host of others, being now completely down with Bill Lee doing the exact same thing.
Maybe it was more personality than policy. But at least some of the folks that had been so visceral in their attacks on Randy Boyd because he was tied to Haslam who are now supporting Bill Lee ought to at least apologize to Randy Boyd.
Listen to the segment:
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