Bredesen, Blackburn meet for final debate before Tennessee voters head to polls

The two candidates for senate in Tennessee met for a final debate Wednesday night in Knoxville. 

High stakes for Congressman Marsha Blackburn and former Governor Phil Bredesen, locked in a tight race for votes. 

The latest CBS poll shows Blackburn leading Bredesen by 8 points. 

Following the heated partisan fallout of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Blackburn hit hard on Bredesen’s record of handling sexual assault claims while Governor of Tennessee. 

“There was a path for friends of Phil where sexual harassment claims were handled, and there was also the path for everyone else. What happened? The voices of those women were shredded,” says Blackburn. 

Bredesen rebutted, “We got rid of that person the next day, we tried to help the victim every way we could. We do not maintain notes of those because they are public records.” 

Key points in Wednesday’s debate include different stances on gun control and second amendment rights. 

Bredesen saying, “I think the way we exercise those rights responsibly as with anything else is by putting reasonable kinds of controls in place.”

Blackburn argues against gun control, “We can protect the second amendment and also protect our citizens in public places.” 

A clear contrast from the two candidates on immigration reform, as Blackburn supports President Trump’s bid to build a border wall. 

“Tennesseans want to see that wall built because open border policies have made every town a border town and every state a border state,” she says. 

Bredesen calling the border wall “political theater.” 

“I think there are much better ways of doing it than building a wall. In today’s world with the technology we could do that more effectively, more quickly and less expensively,” he says. 

On multiple occasions Blackburn connected her democratic opponent to a another democrat who lost by a large margin in Tennessee two years ago- Hillary Clinton. 

“If Phil had his way and Hillary were President, he gave her 33,400 dollars, he wanted her to be president…” a concept Blackburn reiterated throughout the debate. 

Bredesen responded, “Congressman, I did not think you could possibly beat the number of mentions you made of Chuck Shumer in our last debate, but I believe you have with Hillary Clinton here tonight.” 

Wednesday’s debate was the second and final debate between the two candidates before election day. 

Early voting in Tennessee’s general election starts October 17. 

Watch the full debate on WJHL’s website. 

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