Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is facing pressure from conservative activists as he runs for re-election. But the senator says he’s not like his outspoken Tea Party colleague from Texas.
Alexander was asked by Knoxville’s Newstalk 98.7 if he feels any pressure to be more like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who led the fight to shutdown the federal government over Obamacare. Alexander said he fights for his ideas, as Cruz does. But he has a track record of getting his ideas enacted into law.
“I learned to count in the Maryville City Schools,” Alexander said in an interview Tuesday morning. “And the way to get a result when you’ve only got 45 senators who are Republicans and you need 60 to pass anything important, you have to persuade some Democrats you’re right.”
Alexander offered some examples of his working with Democrats, going back to his days as Tennessee governor in the 1980s. Over the past few weeks, the Senator has said the GOP needs to be the “take over the government party” instead of the “shutdown the government party.”
But he’s also trying to prove his conservative credentials, as he faces a primary challenge on the right from State Rep. Joe Carr. Alexander has been especially vocal about the problems surrounding the roll out of the healthcare.gov website.