Dem super PAC won’t back Bredesen after his backing of Kavanaugh

Dem super PAC won’t back Bredesen after his backing of Kavanaugh
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A major Democratic super PAC says it won’t spend resources to boost the Senate campaign of former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) amid his announcement that he supports Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Priorities USA Action said it won’t back Democrats who vote or support Kavanaugh, whose nomination was in turmoil amid allegations of sexual assault. Priorities hadn’t spent any money to help Bredesen and will now forgo that possibility in the remaining weeks before the midterms.

“We haven't been spending there and any option to is now off the table,” Priorities spokesman Josh Schwerin told The Hill.

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The Daily Beast first reported Priorities’s stance on the Tennessee Senate race.

Bredesen announced on Friday that he supports the confirmation of Kavanaugh, while also condemning the treatment of Christine Blasey Ford, who testified late last month that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in high school, which he has vehemently denied.

“While the subsequent events make it a much closer call, and I am missing key pieces of information that a sitting Senator has, I’m still a ‘yes,’” Bredesen said in a Friday statement.

Bredesen faces a tough challenge against Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTrump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Congress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe MORE (R-Tenn.) in a battle to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump's GOP impeachment firewall holds strong George Conway hits Republicans for not saying Trump's name while criticizing policy Trump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid MORE (R-Tenn.). President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE carried Tennessee by double digits in 2016. Polls have shown a tight race with Bredesen up in many, but that gap has started to close weeks out from the midterm elections.

Throughout his Senate campaign, Bredesen has kept his distance from the national party, arguing that he’ll be an independent voice for Tennesseans and work across the aisle. He recently announced at a Senate debate that he wouldn’t support Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump defends 'crime buster' Giuliani amid reported probe Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support Trump urges Louisiana voters to back GOP in governor's race then 'enjoy the game' MORE (D-N.Y.) as the Senate Democratic leader.  

While Priorities won’t spend on behalf of the Tennessee Democrat, Bredesen has already gotten major help from other Democratic outside groups that have spent millions to elevate him, including Senate Majority PAC (SMP) and Majority Forward.

Priorities said it would also forgo spending on Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by USAA — Ex-Ukraine ambassador testifies Trump pushed for her ouster GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe Fallout from Kavanaugh confirmation felt in Washington one year later MORE’s (D-W.Va.) race if he votes for Kavanaugh in a final vote Saturday.

Manchin voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination in a key procedural vote on Friday, though he hasn’t announced where he stands on the final vote.

Manchin is up for reelection in a state that voted for Trump by more than 40 points. He's running against West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R), though polls show Manchin comfortably ahead.

While Priorities is stepping away, SMP told the Washington Examiner on Friday that they’ll continue to support both Bredesen and Manchin’s Senate bids.

"Senate Majority PAC supports Phil Bredesen and Joe Manchin. They are the only candidates with an independent record of getting results for Tennessee and West Virginia," SMP spokesman Chris Hayden told the Examiner. "They're both winning these races because of their record."