For Immediate Release: July 6, 2020

NASHVILLE – U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty, a member of the White House COVID Task Force, continued holding in-person events against everyone’s advice last week while maintaining silence over Russian bounties, and unveiled his latest domestic policy proposal to deface Mount Rushmore, while writing op-eds about protecting history and complaining about “legislating from the bench” as the Supreme Court again upheld women’s rights by striking down a Louisiana law that was a “word for word” copy of a Texas law that was overturned in 2016. Iraq war combat veteran James Mackler, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, called out the president’s failure to respond to Russian Bounties, walked in solidarity with Black Tennesseans, and added more key endorsements to his growing list of supporters. 


While Hagerty maintains his silence about the president’s failure to respond to intelligence reports that Russia was paying Taliban-backed militants to kill American servicemembers, Hagerty stated with a straight-face that he’s “behind our veterans 120%.” Thank you for your lip service Bill. A Blue Star mother in Tennessee has taken note. Hagerty is really extending himself lately, as he has posted that he “stands with law enforcement 120%” at least 15 times over the last two weeks. For those keeping track, Hagerty stands with Trump 100% of the time. Don’t be jealous of all this extra effort applied towards others Mr. President – Hagerty has big ideas for you. 


Bill Hagerty, who wrote an entire op-ed to call out “erasing history,” kicked off a wild and unmasked Fourth of July by elevating Donald Trump’s likeness to join George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln on Mount Rushmore. “We need to call out these radical anarchists and bring an end to the chaos,” wrote Bill, a week after posting a picture of himself standing alongside a Three Percenter — an antigovernment militia group that satirist Sacha Baron Cohen offered a quick explainer on last weekend — during his unmasked tour of Tennessee. Count James Mackler, who hasn’t been asked (yet) about Hagerty placing Trump ahead of George Washington on Mount Rushmore, as part of the camp who believe the record does not warrant such lionization. Bill Hagerty putting Trump on Mount Rushmore is a thirst trap equivalent of stating that Jay Cutler belongs in the NFL Hall of Fame. C’mon Hags – you already got your Trump tweet


While Bill Hagerty said he’s “never seen [President Trump] do anything that I think jeopardizes America’s position in the world,” reporting this week called Trumpincompetent in his dealings with heads of state.” A Senate investigation found that the NRA, who gave Hagerty the highest rating possible for someone without a voting record, acted as a “foreign asset” for Russia ahead of the 2016 election. Also this week, thanks to Marsha Blackburn and Hagerty’s Republican allies in the Senate, presidential campaigns are not required to report offers of foreign election help. We can expect Hagerty to uphold the status quo that former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes so succinctly summed up: “the President’s defense is he doesn’t read briefings about securing our troops and the Senate GOP covers for him while blocking any effort to secure our election against Russian aggression.


President Trump used his Independence Day speeches to highlight his campaign playbook that seeks to further divide an already split nation, Bill Hagerty has closely adhered to the same playbook. While Trump spoke about “angry mobs” and their mission to “end America,” Hagerty also referred to protesters as “the mob” and argued “they are coming for our freedom.” At the president’s event Saturday on the White House South Lawn, few wore masks, “a safety precaution Mr. Trump … [has] consistently played down,” in photographs Hagerty has posted of his events, there’s been just one that featured anyone with a face covering, and when asked his stance on a mask mandate Hagerty, who has yet to be photographed not unmasked, replied, “I trust Tennesseans. I think they’ll make the right decisions for themselves.” Hagerty, unwilling to face the prospects of running against a decorated Iraq war veteran is following Trump’s lead, “leaning on culture wars … to buoy his base of white supporters,” by posing with an antigovernment militia member, invoking Islamophobic dog whistles on Ramadan and complaining about censorship in response to the Tennessean printing an anti-Islamic newspaper ad, and dedicating his latest television ad solely to divisive wedge issues [Side note, maybe the GOP primary is closer than anyone thought?]. The Trump campaign is running against “cancel culture,” so the Hagerty campaign is too. Trump said he was America’s “president of law and order,” in lock step Hagerty has sought to portray himself as the candidate of law and order. Bill Kristol noted, Trump is “totally opportunistic” and is using societal divisions to further his own ambitions, the same could be said for Hagerty who gave maximum contributions to both Jeb Bush’s (Feb. 2015) and Marco Rubio’s (Feb. 2016) presidential campaigns long before doing so to Trump’s campaign (Sept. 2016).


While Tennessee saw the highest increase in cases per capita this week in the nation and Nashville reported a 16% positive test rate, Bill Hagerty continues to travel Tennessee unmasked and with no regard for social distancing. Many leaders in Hagerty’s party, including Dick Cheney and Hagerty-endorser Mitch McConnell, agree with conservative columnist Roy Exum, who noted “if you refuse to mask, first consider the safety of others. Change the priorities and use your mask to save someone else’s life.” This is yet another issue where Hagerty refuses to buck the president. When asked about a mask mandate, Hagerty said “I think [Tennesseans will] make the right decisions for themselves.” This personal responsibility hot take is not supported by the CDC, who advises “your cloth face covering may protect them…Their cloth face covering may protect you.” Wearing a mask is about protecting others and doing what’s right for your community – tenets of good public service – and that’s why James Mackler wears a mask. Mackler is running for U.S. Senate to fight for all Tennesseans, something Hagerty could be doing in his role on the White House COVID Task Force, but instead uses as an opportunity to bankroll his campaign


Hagerty came out with an ad this week riddled with falsehoods and contrasting him with politicians who are not running for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat — perhaps hoping to avoid putting his record of self-service up against that of a decorated Iraq war combat veteran. Here’s a quick fact check:

FACT: Hagerty commemorated the start of Ramadan by tweeting about “radical Islamic terrorism” and instead of disavowing the Islamophobic ad that ran in the Tennessean he tweeted about liberal censorship. It’s clear Hagerty will only protect the religious liberties of certain religions. 

FACT: Hagerty claims he will “protect life” but refuses to wear a mask that serves to protect others and that even Mitch McConnell said was not a partisan issue

FACT: Bill Hagerty calls himself the “Trump Conservative” but he made maximum donations to both Jeb Bush’s (Feb 2015) and Marco Rubio’s (Feb 2016) presidential campaigns before doing so for Trump’s campaign in September 2016.


White House Economic Adviser and Hatch Act violating Hagerty booster Larry Kudlow simultaneously advocated for a tax break to encourage Americans to travel the country and argued that the U.S. is still battling the first wave of the coronavirus.


The Jackson Sun reported that Jackson, TN, was a hotspot for Republican campaign stops this week — we’d guess campaign stops aren’t the only thing flaring as a result of their visits. During his stop, Hagerty noted that he was “against Medicare” – a program 1.3 million Tennesseans use for health care that Mackler has repeatedly vowed to protect from the very cuts Hagerty will push through as a U.S. Senator


Mackler continues to garner the support of major organizations in his campaign for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat, adding endorsements from Tennessee’s AFL-CIO and the Jewish Democratic Council of America as the best choice for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat. 

120 days until Election Day.