President Donald Trump spoke at Freedom Hall in Johnson City on Oct. 1, endorsing U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn for Senator. While not present, Gov. Phil Bredesen and his press secretary have some responses to remarks made by the leader of the free world.

“From day one Gov. Bredesen has been clear –– he is not running against Donald Trump,” Alyssa Hansen, Bredesen’s press secretary, stated. “He is running for a Senate seat to represent the people of Tennessee.”

In his endorsement of Blackburn, the President made several remarks about her Senate opponent, including issues regarding the Second Amendment and connections between Bredesen and Chuck Schumer.

In countering President Trump’s claims about Bredesen not defending the Second Amendment, Hansen went on a personal route of comment.

“Governor Bredesen is a lifelong sportsman and gun owner,” she said. “He supports and exercises the right to bear arms guaranteed in the Second Amendment. As he laid out, real independence –– not party politics –– that’s what’s best for Tennessee.”

At the rally, the President stated that a vote for Bredesen is a vote for Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters. According to Hansen, who referred to a quote from Bredesen from the first debate with Blackburn, a vote for the former governor is actually the opposite.

“I think a lot of the problem in Washington is with the leadership we have there now,” Bredesen said at the first debate. “Whether it be Ryan, or Pelosi, or McConnell or Schumer. They’re not doing the job. We need to get new leadership, and 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 Schumer.”

Bredesen says he puts voters ahead of presidential visits.

“Presidential visits are good for fundraising, but I’ve found that Tennesseans are independent thinkers who can make up their own minds,” Bredesen said in an official statement on Monday. “When I ran for Governor, President Bush came down so many times that I lost count and in the end, I won, because people in Tennessee like to think for themselves for these kinds of things. I’m much more interested in getting out there and talking with voters about the issues that matter, which is why I hosted a forum tonight in Chattanooga.”

For voters, Bredesen believes there is a choice to be made.

“Tennessee voters have a choice: if they want more of the same shouting and bickering from Washington, then I’m not their candidate,” he said. “However, if voters want to hire someone who has a track record of getting things done for Tennessee, then I’m applying for the job.”

To register to vote, go to