U.S. Sen. candidate Phil Bredesen released a campaign ad on Tuesday that was filmed outside his grandmother’s American flag-clad house touting his humble roots growing up among “secretaries, nurses, factory workers, and small business owners.” He pledged to stop educated Washington elites from telling Tennesseans how to live.
Last week, in a video interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Bredesen said he is more “sophisticated” than rural voters.
A clip shows him saying that when he attends family reunions in his native Upstate New York, he experiences “a culture that is different.” The Harvard graduate estimates 70 percent of his extended family voted for Trump but “are not crazy or anything.”
Around the 1 minute mark, he says he has one foot planted in that world and one foot in a “more sophisticated” world.
He touts his experience at an Ivy League college and his work as mayor, governor and CEO of a public company.
Bredesen, the former Nashville mayor and Tennessee governor, is running for retiring Sen. Bob Corker’s seat. He will face U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) on Nov. 6.
The Tennessee Star reported recently that while Bredesen claims to be a working stiff, he would become one of the richest members of Congress if elected. Bredesen has reported assets between $88.9 million and $358 million, The Washington Free Beacon said.
The former governor, who says he has one foot in the less sophisticated rural world, owns five homes —two homes in Nashville, two lakefront properties in upstate New York, and a five-bedroom home in Jackson, Wyoming. He also is one of the registered owners of an Embraer Phenom 300 private jet.
In an emailed statement to The Tennessee Star, Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden said Bredesen is masquerading as a moderate.
“Phony Phil Bredesen can pretend to be Republican-lite all he wants, but he can’t escape his liberal record. Phil donated $33,400 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Golden wrote.
“Phil admitted he’s Chuck Schumer’s handpicked candidate. Phil’s campaign called Trump voters ‘idiots.’ And now he’s relying on Bernie Sanders supporters to raise him money. Tennesseans aren’t fooled by Phil’s attempts to manipulate Republicans’ words to serve his own political purposes.”