by Dr. Eowyn
From HuffPo: Rep. Steve Cohen, a Tennessee Democrat, told a group of pastors last month he hoped President Donald Trump would tell Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the GOP’s Senate candidate in the Volunteer State, to jump off a local bridge.
Cohen was appearing at a community prayer breakfast at the Broadway Baptist Church in Memphis hosted by former Gov. Phil Bredesen’s campaign for Senate.
“The big orange president …. He’s going to come down here and he is going to endorse Marsha Blackburn, because Marsha Blackburn, if he says, ‘Jump off the Harahan Bridge,’ she’ll jump off the Harahan Bridge,” he said in the audio obtained by HuffPost, referring to a bridge over the Mississippi River connecting Arkansas and Tennessee. “I wish he’d say that.”
The remark was met with laughter.
Bredesen and Blackburn are in a tight race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Bob Corker. The Nov. 6 election could help determine control of the U.S. Senate. Bredesen’s reputation as a moderate and his high name recognition from his two terms as governor have boosted the Democrat in a heavily Republican state where Trump took 61 percent of the vote two years ago.
The Blackburn campaign has worked to portray Bredesen ― the former CEO of a chain of for-profit hospitals and the former business-oriented mayor of Nashville ― as a liberal lackey of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who would consistently oppose the president.
Bredesen has promised to take a checks-and-balances approach to Trump, working with him on some issues and opposing him on others, while Blackburn has wholeheartedly embraced the president. Her second television ad, released earlier this week, focuses exclusively on Trump’s decision to endorse her.
“I am going to be there to stand with President Donald Trump and take your Tennesee values to Washington, D.C.,” Blackburn says in the 30-second ad.
The Bredesen campaign, in response to Cohen’s remarks, pointed to the Bredesen’s remarks at the same breakfast, which avoided criticizing the president or Blackburn.
“I really don’t want [this election] to be about my opponent and who’s best and who’s worst or who’s made most mistakes, or things like that,” Bredesen said, according to the audio provided by his campaign. “I really want this election to be about ideas, and I want you to ask everyone to vote for the person who they think got the best ideas about how to create opportunity in Tennessee, and create opportunity in the United States of America.”
In a phone interview Thursday night, Cohen made it clear he didn’t wish Blackburn physical harm.
“It was obviously humor,” he said, adding: “I wish her no harm. I hope she doesn’t get the Senate. And I wish she wasn’t a lackey for Trump. But I don’t wish her physical harm.”
Read the whole story here.
Note from HuffPo: This article has been updated with later comment from Cohen making it clear he meant his comment as humor and did not wish anyone harm.