Bredesen says he won't back Schumer for Senate Dem leader

Bredesen says he won't back Schumer for Senate Dem leader
© Getty

Bredesen, during his opening comments in a debate, said Congress needs "to get new leadership." 
"I can tell you right now that if I'm elected, and when I'm elected and go to Washington, I am not going to be voting for Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference Pelosi: Barr press briefing a 'staggering partisan effort' MORE," Bredesen said.
He added that "a lot of the problem" with Washington, D.C. — which he argued had become "hyperpartisan" — is the current leadership in both parties and that "they're not doing the job." 
Bredesen is running for the Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPollster says Trump unlikely to face 'significant' primary challenge GOP gets used to saying 'no' to Trump Democrats introduce bill to rein in Trump on tariffs MORE (Tenn.), who is retiring at the end of the year. He's worked to distance himself from the national Democratic Party as he tries to win in the deep-red state. 
“I need to make clear to everybody my independence from all of the national Democratic stuff," he told The Associated Press in an interview that published on Sunday. 
Bredesen is facing off against Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnConservative groups defend tech from GOP crackdown Lawmakers weigh challenges in fighting robocalls Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal MORE (Tenn.) for the Senate seat. The race, according to a RealClear Politics average of polling, is locked in a tie, though the AP reported that internal polling from both sides has Bredesen in a slight lead. 
Blackburn noted during Tuesday night's debate that Bredesen could have run as a Republican or independent but chose to run as a Democrat. 
"He will be with Chuck Schumer if he were to go to Washington," she said. 
Bredesen is one of a growing number of Senate Democratic candidates who say they wouldn't support Schumer as Democratic leader. 
“I would have to ... listen to those who are vying for that position and then make the best-informed decision. But I've not spoken to [Schumer] or really anyone about it. In fact, this is the first time I've been asked the question," he added at the time. 
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) also said in July that she wouldn't support Schumer. 
The Senate doesn't hold public votes for caucus leadership, which are worked out in closed-door meetings.