Bernie Sanders Supporter Ben Folds to Headline Concert Fundraiser for Bredesen in Tennessee

Jason Isbell also performing, slammed Christian Trump supporters: 'God is gone from those people'

Ben Fold / Getty Images
August 9, 2018

Singer-songwriter Ben Folds, who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) for president in 2016, is headlining a fundraiser later this month for Democratic Senate hopeful Phil Bredesen.

Bredesen, a former two-term governor in Tennessee, has presented himself as a moderate to get elected in a state President Donald Trump won in a landslide in 2016, and he objects to being called "liberal." However, one of his party's top spokesmen in the state has assailed Trump supporters as "idiots" who don't listen.

Now he has Folds performing for his Aug. 20 event, along with singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, who was described as a "Democrat-voting liberal" in 2015. Folds endorsed Sanders ahead of the Michigan Democratic primary in 2016, urging supporters to vote for him over Hillary Clinton.

Sanders wasn't popular among Democrats in Tennessee in 2016. Clinton trounced Sanders on Super Tuesday that year en route to winning the Democratic nomination.

Isbell slammed Christian Trump voters in an interview last year with Rolling Stone, saying the fact that he earned so much support from them meant there were not "many good Christian people left in rural America."

"The Trump presidency has convinced me that we are living in a post-Christian America. I could see how a lot of conservative right-wing Christian Americans would vote for someone like Mitt Romney, who seems like a stand-up guy. But Trump is obviously not a good Christian person. I think the fact that so many people voted for him means that there aren’t that many good Christian people left in rural America. God is gone from those people," he said.

No Democrat has been elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee since Al Gore in 1990. He resigned in 1992 when he was elected vice president, and Republicans have won every U.S. Senate race in Tennessee since.

Bredesen faces Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) in the race to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.). Recent polling shows him holding a small lead over Blackburn in the race.

UPDATE: 1:13 P.M.: This article was updated with Isbell's remarks about Trump supporters to Rolling Stone.