Bredesen: If I Lose, It Will Be Because the 'National Democratic Brand Is a Problem'

November 5, 2018

Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen said in an interview that aired on Sunday that if he loses the Tennessee race, it will be because of problems with the "national Democratic brand."

"If I lose, I think it will be because the national Democratic brand is a problem in general for me, and it will be because I haven't succeeded in making the case I'm different enough from that to be considered," Bredesen told MSNBC's Kasie Hunt.

Hunt asked Bredesen if the Senate Democrats' handling of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation battle changed his Senate race.

"Do you think that was handled appropriately by Senate Democratic leaders?" Hunt asked.

"No. One of the things I feel very strongly in a race here in Tennessee is the national Democratic brand, if you will, which is the sum of the kinds of things people do and issues we talk about is a huge problem for me. I didn't think the Kavanaugh thing was handed properly," Bredesen said. "I'm a believer in the notion that the role of the Senate is to respect the fact that a president has the right to appoint the Supreme Court Justices. And ones that agree with his philosophy and the role of the Senate is to, you know, make sure that there is competence and ability to perform is there."

When President Donald Trump announced Kavanaugh as the nominee, several Democratic senators immediately came out against the nominee.

"I thought the immediately coming out against anybody that Trump put up was a mistake in terms of broadening the base of the party and attracting people in," Bredesen added.

Hunt asked if Bredesen loses, will it be because of the Kavanaugh fight.

"No, I don't think it will only be Kavanaugh," Bredesen said. "I think my party, Democratic Party is at its best when it's sort of getting out of this stuff and gets back to being a strong muscular party that is really focused on opportunity for working class and middle class Americans."

Bredesen is facing off against Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) to fill the vacant seat from outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R.). The RealClearPolitics average of polls has Blackburn ahead by 5 points.