super PAC

Democrat Phil Bredesen — who is running in a tight race for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat — is already experiencing blowback from a leading Super PAC for coming out in favor of Brett Kavanaugh.

Friday afternoon, Priorities USA, which has spent just shy of $14 million in the 2018 election cycle, announced it would not support Bredesen’s campaign after he issued a public statement saying he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh if he were in the senate.

“We haven’t been spending there and any option to is now off the table,” Priorities USA spokesman Josh Scherwin told The Daily Beast.

super PAC
Priorities USA super PAC expenditures during the 2018 cycle (Chart:

Bredesen will likely need all the help he can get if he hopes to beat Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) in November. The current RealClearPolitics polling average for the Tennessee senate race currently has Blackburn just 0.5 points ahead of Bredesen, putting the race well within the margin of error. A CNN poll from mid-September showed Bredesen with a five-point lead, though a Fox News poll conducted between late September and early October showed Blackburn with a five-point lead.

However, the Beast reported that Bredesen’s Super PAC support is already substantial. The Majority Forward Super PAC — which has been criticized for having secretive donors — has already donated more than $6.5 million to efforts supporting Bredesen’s campaign and attacking Blackburn’s record as a member of Congress.

Earlier on Friday, Bredesen stated that even though he saw Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as a credible witness during her testimony last week, it wasn’t enough to change his mind from a “yes” to a “no” vote, since he didn’t have access to the FBI report recently released to Congress.

“Presidents have the right to appoint justices who share their values — elections have consequences,” Bredesen said in the statement. “I believe a Senator’s responsibility to ‘advise and consent’ is not a license to indulge in partisanship, but should focus on the qualifications of the nominee, their ethics and their temperament.”

Kavanaugh’s temperament was called into question after his testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which he angrily lobbed attacks at Democrats, alleging they were seeking “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” for the 2016 election. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens — a lifelong Republican — said that he no longer supports Kavanaugh in the wake of his testimony.


Tom Cahill is a contributor for Grit Post who covers political and economic news. He lives in Bend, Oregon. Send him an email at tom DOT v DOT cahill AT gmail DOT com.

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