Campaign staffers for Tennessee Democrat Senate nominee Phil Bredesen were caught on tape admitting that the supposedly moderate candidate was lying through his teeth when he said last Friday that he would have voted to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
The staffers, surreptitiously recorded by Project Veritas in a video released Wednesday night, said Bredesen lied to hoodwink moderate Republicans into voting for him. Most polling shows Bredesen behind in a race against conservative Tennessee congresswoman Marsha Blackburn.
Prompted by a female Project Veritas journalist, Bredesen field organizers Maria Amalla and Will Stewart said that Bredesen was intentionally lying for votes:
JOURNALIST: Like he wouldn’t really vote yes [for Kavanaugh], would he?
AMALLA: No, it’s a political move. … He thinks that like we’re down like half a point right now. It’s like really close and we’re losing by a point or two. So he thinks that if like by saying this he’s appealing to more moderate Republicans and he’ll get more of them to vote for us.
JOURNALIST: I was so confused because I just can’t believe he would actually vote [for Kavanaugh].
STEWART: He wouldn’t. But he’s saying he would. … Which I don’t know if it makes it worse or better. … No, it makes it better.
Amalla was clear, adding that Bredesen thought supporting Justice Kavanaugh “would get more Republicans on his side,” and “[Bredesen] wasn’t doing as well in the rural parts.”
Stewart and another Bredesen campaign staffer, Drew Marshall, also admitted that the candidate does not want to fully communicate his affiliation with the national leadership of the Democratic Party:
MARSHALL: We would scare all the people who would vote for Phil Bredesen, but not [Senate Democratic Leader] Chuck Schumer.
STEWART: Yeah, exactly, because there’s a lot of Republicans who are going to vote for [Bredesen].
STEWART: Yeah. And that’s how they’re messaging against us … that he’s gonna be a “toe the line” Democrat voter … Because there are people who loved him as governor but won’t vote for a Democrat for national office.
Stewart reiterated that the Bredesen campaign’s moderate messaging is purely for political optics:
Between you and me, once Phil actually gets into the Senate, he’ll be a good Democrat.
Stewart then agreed with the undercover journalist’s insincere insult of Tennessee voters:
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?
Stewart further suggested to the Project Veritas journalist that Bredesen has been lying to Tennessee voters with his apparent support of President Trump:
“I’d like to think in my little heart that he’s not a super fan of Trump,” the undercover journalist said.
“He’s not. Between you and me, once Phil actually gets into the Senate, he’ll be a good Democrat,” Stewart assured her. Stewart added: “And it’s also just the start of something big, you know?”
“The resistance,” the journalist suggested.
“Yeah. Yeah. We don’t say that out of these walls,” Stewart replied. “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,” he explained.
“I can’t help but think that Phil is the same way though,” the journalist said.
“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,” Stewart responded.
Stewart expanded on not mentioning “the blue wave”:
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.
Hopefully, this video will disabuse moderate Republicans in Tennessee of the notion that Bredesen would be anything but a rubber-stamp for Chuck Schumer.