The winners and the losers in Thursday’s Republican primaries are gathering for a unity rally in Nashville today.
President Trump took the initiative in bringing unity to Tennessee Republicans for the November general election when he tweeted out his “total and enthusiastic” endorsement of Republican gubernatorial primary winner Bill Lee on Friday.
Congratulations to Bill Lee of Tennessee on his big primary win for Governor last night. He ran a great campaign and now will finish off the job in November. Bill has my total and enthusiastic Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 3, 2018
Today’s TNGOP 2018 Unity Rally will be held at the Musicians Hall of Fame at 401 Gay Street in Nashville.
Doors open at 4:30 pm, and the 50 minute program will begin at 5:00 pm.
Bill Lee, the Republican nominee for Governor of Tennessee, will be among the featured speakers.
Lee faces Democrat nominee Karl Dean, former mayor of Nashville, in the November general election. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) faces Democrat nominee Phil Bredesen, former governor of Tennessee and mayor of Nashville in November.
Blackburn’s campaign has held its fire during the primary season, but on Thursday, Rep. Blackburn took the gloves off and came after her Democratic rival.
“Blackburn appeared on WTN’s Nashville Morning News with Brian Wilson Thursday morning to discuss her reaction to the fallout from the foul-mouthed Democratic spokesman Mark Brown, as well as her plans for her campaign going forward in the general election against Phil Bredesen,” as The Tennessee Star reported in this partial transcript of her appearance that morning:
BW: Well, this is really sort of the kickoff for you, because you are just starting your TV ads. Phil Bredesen has been out there for a while, trying to reach out to, you know, the moderate voters or some of the Trump supporters. He’s saying he can work with President Trump and he’s coming across – reaching out across the aisle – looking for voters on the other side.
And yet he’s had nothing to say about the comments of a guy named Mark Brown – a Democratic Party Communications official who said the following and – excuse the language here – he said, “F- reaching out to Trump voters,” he has called Trump voters idiots.
And yet, Phil Bredesen – who wants to get those “idiots” to vote for him – has has nothing to say about these comments by Mark Brown.
What is your thought about that?
MB: Well, of course it’s sad, and I think we’re finding out the true nature of what Phil Bredesen and the Democrats – Tennessee Democrats – think about Trump supporters – hard working Tennesseans who voted for President Trump. And when you know that Bredesen gave Hillary Clinton $33,400 dollars, she called us all ‘deplorables,’ and this is worse, calling Trump voters ‘idiots,’ and ‘morons,’ and they’re not worth the time, and they’re not listening – and it is something that indeed, is unfortunate. But I’ve got to tell you, I think it is amazing that this guy has not been fired.
BW: yes – and it’s interesting that Phil Bredesen has had absolutely nothing to say about it as far as I can find.
MB: I think you’re right about that. But we just keep focused on our message – we’ve got a great story to tell.
As for Lee, who refused to engage in the back-and-forth of attack ads between his rivals during the Republican primary, it is not clear whether he will continue a positive messaging only approach in the general election campaign.