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VOL. 42 | NO. 6 | Friday, February 9, 2018

Campaign: Only 'sexist pig' would think Blackburn can't win

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn's campaign said Tuesday that anyone who thinks she can't win the general election in Tennessee's U.S. Senate race is a "plain sexist pig."

Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Bozek released the statement after multiple media reports said some Republicans are encouraging U.S. Sen. Bob Corker not to retire over fears that Democrats will win the seat.

Corker's office has said in a recent statement to media outlets that "it is true that Senator Corker has been encouraged by people across Tennessee and in the Senate to reconsider his decision, but at this point nothing has changed."

Bozek noted that several polls have found Blackburn leading former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in a potential Senate general election matchup. Others found Bredesen with an advantage.

Bozek also pointed out Blackburn's fundraising success, with $2 million raised last quarter and $4.6 million cash entering January.

"Anyone who thinks Marsha Blackburn can't win a general election is just a plain sexist pig," Bozek said in the statement. "She's the best fundraiser in the country and is beating Phil Bredesen in several polls. We aren't worried about these ego-driven, tired old men. Marsha has spent her whole life fighting people who told her she wasn't good enough and she will do it again."

Blackburn faces former Republican U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher in the August GOP primary. Fincher's campaign says he raised $1.45 million last quarter, with $3.7 million in cash to start the new year.

In Washington on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader McConnell wouldn't say if he's asked Corker to stay.

"You'd have to ask Senator Corker about what his plans are," the Kentucky Republican told reporters Tuesday.

Asked how a possible Corker comeback could affect Blackburn's bid, Bozek said the campaign "is running full steam ahead because we want to ensure President Trump has a reliable vote in U.S. Senate."

Likewise, Bredesen's campaign said the speculation over Corker "changes nothing."

"Governor Bredesen got in this race to be a true advocate for the people of Tennessee in the Senate, not to run against anyone," Bredesen campaign spokeswoman Alyssa Hansen said in a statement.

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Matthew Daly in Washington contributed to this report.