NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Half a dozen angry liberal protesters attempted to disrupt a Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) campaign rally Sunday afternoon where Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was the featured speaker.
The two headlined an event held before a packed house at singer Ray Stevens’ CabaRay Theater in Nashville. Marsha Blackburn spoke for about ten minutes to the enthusiastic crowd of 500 that had been infiltrated by a small left-wing group.
When Blackburn called for a moment of silence to remember those killed at an attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the crowd’s silent respect was interrupted by one of the protesters who shouted at Blackburn.
You can watch that protester interrupt the moment of silence here:
One protester disrupted the event prior to Blackburn’s address and was removed by security and law enforcement.
Several protesters disrupted Blackburn’s address. All of them were removed by security and law enforcement.
During the time the protesters were being removed, the crowd shouted: “USA, USA, USA!,” followed by: “Jobs, Not Mobs!”
“This Sunday afternoon, the liberal angry mob made it clear they are active in Tennessee and will stop at nothing to disrupt civil political discourse. I’m grateful to the law enforcement officers who were here today and kept everyone safe,” Blackburn said in a statement released by her campaign shortly after the event concluded.
“The protesters at today’s event were absolutely appalling. They yelled ‘Impeach Trump.’ They kicked. They punched. They resisted law enforcement, and they interrupted a moment of silence for the victims in Pittsburgh,” Blackburn said.
“Never in my life have I heard of people interrupting a moment of silence. Phil Bredesen is their leader, and their behavior is despicable,” she concluded.
Blackburn faces Democrat Phil Bredesen in the November 6 election for the Tennessee U.S. Senate seat now held by retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).
Most of the small contingent of left-wing protesters were removed from the event by the time Blackburn introduced Graham, the featured speaker, who received thunderous applause from the audience.
“I’m going to talk about two things: Marsha and Kavanaugh,” Graham began.
“The first thing I want to say is — any protesters left? Now is your time to stand up and be counted,” a reference to the half-dozen protesters who attempted to disrupt Blackburn’s earlier speech by shouting and vigorously resisting attempts by security and law enforcement to remove them from the event.
“Marsha will change the Senate. She’s got a determination that represents the best of Tennessee. She is reliable, and — to her opponent — why do you think Chuck Schumer is investing $12 million in you, if you’re not going to be for him,” Graham continued.
“They have spent $12 million — the Senate Democratic PAC — in Tennessee. How many of you believe that Chuck Schumer’s working for bipartisanship?” he asked the crowd rhetorically.
If you believe that, Graham said, “somebody will drive you home because you don’t need to be on the roads out here,” to laughter from the audience.
You can watch Graham’s opening comments here:
“Marsha’s going to help Trump,” Graham declared, then poked a bit of fun at both himself and the president:
Now me and Donald have had our differences. I finished in the top 17 in the Republican primary for president. We’ve got one thing in common, President Trump and myself. I like him and he likes him.
I think he’s doing a helluva job, don’t you?
Graham then turned his attention to the bad conduct of Democrat members of the Senate during the recent confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Graham’s spirited defense of Kavanaugh during the Judiciary Committee’s hearings that heard the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct more than 36 years ago but provided no corroborating evidence to support the accusation — and Kavanaugh’s response in testimony, is widely considered one of the key turning points in Kavanaugh’s successful confirmation by the Senate.
“The reason they [the Democrats] were so awful to Kavanaugh is they don’t want to recognize the fact that President Trump won the election. Now I’m a conservative and I’m happy about it, Apparently, if you’re a liberal, you’re not a very happy person,” Graham said.
He then tore into the Democrats in the Senate for their handling of the Kavanaugh confirmation.
“So I’m going to talk about Kavanaugh. I have been in this business since 1995. I was pissed,” Graham began, adding:
Up became down. It used to not be this way folks. It’s not just about taxes and regulations and a million other issues on the ballot. It’s an attitude. Who do you want to run your government? Do you want the people who were going to destroy this man to be in charge?
They wanted power so badly, that there’s nothing they wouldn’t do.
Betray Dr. Ford. Destroy Brett Kavanaugh. Take every law that we have and turn it upside down to get an outcome.
I thought I was in some other country.
“At the end of the day, I hope they pay a price. If we had failed to get Brett on the bench, nobody would be here today. There were 51 Republicans, and I said it and I meant it. Any Republican that didn’t vote for him was supporting the most despicable thing I’ve seen in twenty years in politics,” Graham added.
He closed by concluding that Democrats needed to pay a price at the ballot box next Tuesday for the despicable way they treated Justice Kavanaugh.
After the rally, Graham and Blackburn held a joint press appearance at which Graham reiterated his strong support for Blackburn and other Republican Senate candidates.
“I’m going all over the country. I’ve never really done this before. After the way Brett [Kavanaugh] was treated, I think we need a correction in Washington. I’m tired of playing their game. I’ve got a lot of good friends on the other side who gave into some pretty bad stuff,” Graham said.
“I do know Marsha. I can count on Marsha [in the Senate] when it comes to things I care about,” he concluded.