Incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) won’t debate his primary challenger, state Sen. Joe Carr, so Carr supporters are trying to bring the debate to him.
At a series of recent campaign stops, a group of Carr supporters have been showing up to ask Alexander about his vote for the Senate “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill last year, as well as other topics.
Yesterday, the pro-Carr group “BEAT LAMAR” posted on its Facebook page that Alexander left the back exit of the Clement Railroad Museum in Dickson, Tennessee rather than board his bus and face the activists.
“Once again LAMAR RAN AWAY OUT THE BACK DOOR to avoid questions from our tough crew of patriotic college kids!” the group said.
At another recent campaign stop, the Carr supporters asked Alexander why he supported the Senate’s amnesty bill in 2012 and missed a Senate vote last week on the Democrats’ border crisis spending bill, which failed to achieve a 60-vote supermajority. (Although missing the vote that brought the bill down, Alexander had voted earlier against bringing the bill to the Senate floor in the first place).
“You’ve had a busy week! I’ll say that for you,” Alexander responded, according to a video posted by the group.
Besides not debating Carr, Alexander has been criticized for not being forthcoming with his views on controversial issues.
“When tea party sympathizers say U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has failed to stand up to liberals and Democrats on the things they care about most, they have a point,” Scott Stroud, the Tennessean’s political editor, wrote on Saturday. “But if he told them where he stood, they might not like what they’d hear.”
Stroud “sat in on the senator’s meeting with The Tennessean Editorial Board last week and listened” as Alexander “successfully avoided saying what he really thinks on a whole host of topics that included “Medicaid expansion to provide health care for low-income Tennesseans; Common Core education standards;” amnesty legislation; and raising gas taxes.
State Rep. Joe Carr, who has been endorsed by Sarah Palin and Laura Ingraham ahead of Thursday’s primary, has been hammering Alexander on the amnesty issue, including criticizing Alexander for missing the vote last week.
He said that when the “moment of truth came” and Alexander had “the opportunity to stand with Sens. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX),” Alexander “was nowhere to be found.”
“With our national sovereignty on the line, Lamar Alexander skipped tonight’s decisive Senate vote,” Carr said last week. “For months, Lamar Alexander has avoided participating in any public debates in Tennessee, using the excuse that he debates ‘every day on the Senate floor.’ Well, in the culmination of a confrontation between conservatives and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Barack Obama, Lamar Alexander went MIA.”
During the debate last week, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said the Senate debate was momentous.
“The vote we are about to have will be a vote on whether to support the President’s illegal executive amnesty, or to stop it,” he said. “Everyone in this chamber will cast a vote before this whole nation and reveal whether they stand for our laws and our sovereign borders, or whether they stand with the President’s illegal activities.”