Tennessee’s Democratic U.S. Senate nominee said Friday he supports Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Former Governor Phil Bredesen had previously avoided a public commitment on the issue.
Bredesen released a statement this morning just as the U.S. Senate was finalizing a cloture vote that allows a final confirmation vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
In his statement, Bredesen said that he thought the Senate’s responsibility to “advise and consent” Supreme Court nominees isn’t a license to indulge in partisanship, but that Senators should instead focus on the qualifications, ethics, and temperament of nominees.
He said while accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh made by Christine Blassey Ford made it a “much closer call”, Bredesen said he would have voted “yes” if he was a current member of the Senate.
Bredesen also called Blassey Ford a “heroine” who brought to national attention the issue of sexual assault.
Bredesen’s Republican rival for the Senate, Marsha Blackburn, issued a statement saying Bredesen put off making an announcement on Kavanaugh’s nomination for 88 days and is trying to divert attention from his opposition to positions held by President Trump that are popular with many Tennesseans.