James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas’ undercover reporting just exposed the double-dealing tactics that Tennessee Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen is using in his 2018 election campaign for the U.S Senate.
The group released damning undercover video footage of staffers from Bredesen’s campaign revealing that Bredesen is not above lying to voters to get elected.
And his staff has no problem helping him get away with it.
Hi, @bcorney — you just shoved me out of Strong Hall, for trying to get a comment from you regarding this video: https://t.co/HFEwFZRdi6 these are your own staffers on tape calling their boss a liar. Care to comment?
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 11, 2018
On Friday, Bredesen voiced support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh and said that he wanted him on the Supreme Court, according to The Washington Post. This, according to Bredesen’s own staffers, is a total lie.
On the Project Veritas video, a man identified as Will Stewart, a field organizer for Bredesen’s campaign, was asked if Bredesen “would actually vote yes” on Kavanaugh’s confirmation if he were in the Senate. Stewart quickly set things straight.
“Oh, he wouldn’t,” Stewart said. “But he’s saying he would.” (“It’s politics,” another campaign staffer added.)
“Which, I don’t know if it makes it worse or better,” Stewart continued. “No, it makes it better.”
“I don’t understand what’s to gain by saying yes,” the undercover Project Veritas journalist prodded.
“Moderates,” Stewart said.
“Moderate Republicans,” another staffer agreed.
The duplicitous strategy seems to be common knowledge among Bredesen’s staff.
A woman identified as Maria Amalla, another field organizer, responded to why Bredesen would lie about supporting Kavanaugh, saying, “Yeah, because it’s a political move and he’s trying to make up those points.”
“I guess we won’t know until November 6th whether or not this was worth it,” she said.
Apparently, lying was the only way Bredesen could see himself beating Marsha Blackburn.
“We’re down eight points and it also said that … 74 percent of Tennesseans wanted to see Kavanaugh confirmed. Logically, based on those numbers and what I’ve seen, is that he had already known that the gap between him and her has grown more,” Amalla said, referring to Blackburn.
“And so he thought that by coming out in support that it would get more Republicans on his side. He wasn’t doing as well in the rural parts … He thinks that by saying this he’s appealing to more moderate Republicans and he’ll get more of them to vote for us,” Amalla continued.
Bredesen doesn’t hold much respect for the people he wants to represent, with Stewart agreeing that Bredesen can get away with his tactics because Tennesseans are “ignorant.”
The Project Veritas journalist also talked to a man identifed as James Miller of “voter protection” on Bredesen’s staff. “I think it’s important to just remind yourself that it’s just a political move, right?” the journalist asked him.
“Yeah. But isn’t that gross?” Miller said, lowering his voice. “That’s the way it has to go.”
“I just hate that he has to like … lie to get that vote,” the journalist said.
“I know. I know. Tell me about it. Unfortunately, that’s reality,” Miller agreed.
Another field organizer, identified as Delaney Brown, said she hoped that all the deception at least pays off in the election.
“I know I’m going to be p—ed if this doesn’t pay off,” she said in the video. “If we lose, I’m going to be so mad. Because not only did he forfeit a lot of moral high ground … if it’d still lose, if it’s by a small margin, that’s the base.”
But campaign staffers assured the reporter that Bredesen’s just pulling a bait and switch. Fear not! His staff says that once Bredesen gets in office, he won’t feel any obligation to follow through with his campaign promises, since he doesn’t plan on running for election again anyway. Phew.
“He’s not going to be running for re-election. He can get in there and do the right thing,” Stewart said. “Between you and me, once Phil actually gets into the Senate, he’ll be a good Democrat.”
Right … once Bredesen’s elected he’ll “do the right thing.” No reason to jump the gun and act ethically while he’s campaigning.
“Once you’re in, six years, you’re going to do the right thing, ” Miller also said. He agreed that Bredesen would be a good Democrat, saying, “100 percent. Always has been.”
Stewart also said that despite orders not to act as if Democrats are simply running against Trump, that’s actually pretty much the point.
“We don’t say that out of these walls. But here, of course, we talk about that,” Stewart said. “Cause it’s so funny. The messaging is like, ‘don’t talk about the blue wave. We’re not running against Trump.’ All this sort of stuff. Even though that’s all why we’re all here. We can’t put it out there.”
Stewart then added that Bredesen “hates Trump.”
But if Democrats want to beat Republicans, they could learn a thing or two from them. Stop looking down on the people you need to vote you and show them respect instead, starting with not blatantly lying to them to try to con them into supporting you.
Also, if you do need to con people to get them to vote for you, maybe re-evaluate some of what you actually stand for.
I’m with Bredesen’s staff on this one in one respect — it’s just plain gross.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.