Marsha Blackburn is calling out Phil Bredesen over his continued refusal to tell Tennesseans how he would vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh if he were in the Senate.
“Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh testified extensively before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the American people on Thursday,” Blackburn said in a statement. “I appreciate their willingness to share their stories. Each of us saw more of what we have seen throughout this process: Senate Democrats behaving despicably and putting personal political ambitions above their constitutional duty to advise and consent.”
“Phil Bredesen, under Chuck Schumer’s direction, has stayed neutral as long as he can, but now, the hearing is over and he has no other reason to stall. I have been clear from the start: I will always vote to confirm judges who uphold the Constitution. Obviously, Phil Bredesen will not make that commitment to Tennesseans because he’ll only vote when and how Chuck Schumer tells him. That’s not what Tennesseans deserve from their next Senator.”
U.S. Representative Blackburn (R-TN-07) and Democratic former Governor Bredesen are running for the Senate seat being vacated by Bob Corker (R-TN).
The Tennessee Republican Party said in a statement, “One of the most important jobs of a U.S. senator is to vote on nominations to the Supreme Court. Republican Marsha Blackburn has been clear that she will vote to confirm strict Constitutionalist to the federal bench every time. Democrat Phil Bredesen has thus far refused to say how he would vote on such a critical issue.”
“He would not say whether he would have voted for Neil Gorsuch, and he still will not say how he would vote on Brett Kavanaugh.”
The GOP provided this timeline:
- July 9: President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh. Bredesen says he will withhold judgement until “after hearings conclude” then “share with Tennesseans how [he] would vote.”
- July 30: Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer instructs red-state Democrats to “stay neutral for as long as possible.”
- Sept. 12: After the initial hearings conclude, Bredesen will not say when asked how he would vote, and admits he didn’t even watch the hearings.
- Sept. 13: At a voter forum, Bredesen is asked by a voter whether he will support Kavanaugh’s nomination. Bredesen proceeds to give a four-minute non-answer, while admitting he “owes it to voters” to tell them how he would vote.
- Sept. 25: At the first Senate debate with Blackburn, Bredesen says he will wait until after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh testify before making a decision.
- Sept. 28: Following the second round of testimony from Kavanaugh, Bredesen has still refused to say how he would vote.
Kavanaugh has sat on the federal bench for 12 years, authored over 300 legal opinions, responded to over 1,300 written questions from the Senate (more than all previous nominees combined), and sat through hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It has been 81 days since Kavanaugh’s nomination. Phil Bredesen has had plenty of time to do his homework and make a decision, the GOP said.
“Bredesen is doing exactly what Chuck Schumer instructed him to do by staying neutral as long as possible,” said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden. “That’s not leadership. That’s not standing up to one’s party. That’s running away from a decision – a decision which he said he ‘owes’ to the people of Tennessee.”
Late Wednesday, Bredesen told the Associated Press that Professor Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of attempting to sexually assault her more than 35 years ago but has provided no corroborating evidence or witnesses, “has a very credible story,” The Tennessee Star reported.
Bredesen has been dancing around the Kavanaugh issue for more than two months, saying he needs more time to consider whether he supports President Donald Trump’s selection, The Star reported earlier this month.
Four Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee donated money to Bredesen’s campaign, The Star reported. The senators are: Cory Booker (D-NJ), $5,000; Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), $10,000; Kamala Harris (D-CA), $10,000; and Dick Durbin (D-IL), $5,000. The GOP cited this campaign finance report in a press release making the claims.
The Schumer aligned Senate Majority PAC has already spent more than $3.5 million in ads for Bredesen, Politico reported.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.