Phil Bredesen talks partisanship and his friendship with Sen. Bob Corker
Greg Glover: "We want to ask you first, just jump right in with, why. You've been a success in business, a success in state government, you're at a point in your life people would maybe go to the the golf course or travel the world. Why jump back into politics?"
Phil Bredesen: "I think what I want to do is find ways to help people and this is probably the highest and best use of me right now. I think I've got a lot of experience at trying to get things done in a bipartisan way, a lot in the healthcare field and so on. I just think Washington needs some help and I'd like to roll my sleeves up and try to provide some of it."
Greg Glover: "I mentioned, our former mayor Senator Corker holds the seat you're running for. He again was forced to address his friendship with you this weekend. You've addressed it a little bit in the past. What is your reaction when you see him do kind of a two-step to avoid saying derogatory things about you as a candidate?"
Phil Bredesen: "I think it's kind of odd and kind of a measure of what's wrong with Washington when two people who happened to be in opposite parties, that have been friends for a long time and have worked together on stuff, I think of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga; so, we can't be friendly and say nice things about each other? I respect, you know, what he's done in the Senate. I respect the way he conducted himself as mayor and, you know, it's been a great pleasure for me to work on different projects with him over the years and I really appreciate the kind things he says in return."
Greg Glover: "In a lot of your campaign literature and in your videos you make big deal about working across the aisle. Knowing what you just addressed about Senator Corker and the atmosphere in Washington right now, how would you plan to do that? What would that look like if you win the seat considering how divided politically the nation is?"
Phil Bredesen: "I think the first thing you have to do is look at the job as not being, you know, something where you're supposed to do everything the Democrats say and be opposed everything Republicans or the president says. I look at it as, I'm an independent person, I can look and see what I think is best for the people of Tennesseem, and no matter where it comes from, that's what I should be for, and likewise if I think it's not good for the people of Tennessee, I should be against it. I mean, to me, it isn't so much bipartisanship as much as being a little less partisan and a little non-partisan about some things to try and figure out what's the right answer what's the right thing to do."
Greg Glover: "You've mentioned that you want to be an independent voice. Right wing pundits have said you would be more for the Democratic party ideas more than the ideas of the people of Tennessee. Are those different in your mind and how would you convince moderate voters and Republicans who may have voted for Trump to come over to you when you were courted to run by Senator Schumer, and things like that?"
Phil Bredesen: "Frst of all, I mean, I don't think any party has got a lock on all of the kinds of things you need to know. I really do intend to work for the people of Tennessee and certainly not the Democratic party. You know, when I was governor, there were numerous times when I split with the national party and with the president. You think about the Affordable Care Act, for example, where obviously there was a lot of pressure on me to support it in every way and I didn't. I had some real problems with it. So, I think that's good evidence, that ought to be good evidence to people that I'm going to take an independent line and will be there. And sure, you know, some national Democrats called me and said 'I hope you do this,' but there's nothing wrong with that. But, I've made it very clear to everybody I intend to be an independent voice and I'm far enough along in life and so on that I can afford to do so."
Greg Glover: "And finally, President Trump has pledged to campaign for your opponent, Representative Blackburn, here in the state of Tennessee, one in which he won 92 of 95 counties. Is it threat to your campaign to have the president come in to personally campaign for her?"
Phil Bredesen: "First of all, I won 95 of the 95 counties and, no, I don't think so. I mean, I think people look beyond that stuff, whether it was Obama campaigning for people or President Trump now, I think people are smart enough to kind of look at the individual candidates and decide who they think is going to best represent their interests."
Greg Glover: "Governor, anything else you'd like to say before we let you go?
Phil Bredesen: "It's a great honor for me to be considered for this and I'm working hard at it, trying to get out and re-meet a lot of people. And, I don't think that I'm supposed to coast into this job in any way and I don't think I deserve it in any way. I'm just here saying, 'I would like your vote. I'm applying for it'"