NASHVILLE, Tenn. - One of the reason's President Trump visited Nashville was to attend a fundraiser for Marsha Blackburn, who's running for U.S. Senate.
He appeared at a reception with the candidate Tuesday evening at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The event lasted about an hour and a half. A private roundtable with Trump for two costs $44,300 per couple, a private photo reception costs $10,800 per couple and a general reception with the president costs $2,700 per couple.
"We are just elated that he's coming to Tennessee and from the lines that have formed so early at Municipal Auditorium it appears that people at the state share our excitement in having back in the Volunteer State," Blackburn told NewsChannel 5 in a phone interview.
Since the fundraiser was private, some residents gathered outside the Opryland Hotel in hopes of catching a glimpse of President Trump as he drove on the property. Many waited in the rain, but said it was worth it.
Rep. Blackburn spoke briefly during President Trump's rally, promising to stand with him and his policies.
The President went on to slam her opponent, former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, calling him "Philbert" and saying he is a "an absolute and total tool of Chuck Schumer...and the MS13 lover Nancy Pelosi."
The Bredesen for Senate campaign released the following statement after the rally:
“Governor Bredesen has made it clear that if President Trump proposes something that’s good for Tennessee, then he’ll support it. Likewise, if the president suggests something that’s bad for Tennesseans, then he’ll oppose it. That’s what senators ought to do. Bottom line: Phil Bredesen is an independent thinker with a proven record of working with Democrats and Republicans. In Washington, he’ll vote in the best interests of Tennessee and Tennesseans.”
She and Bredesen will go head to head for Senator Bob Corker's seat. Corker said he would not be running again, despite encouragement from fellow lawmakers.
In April, a poll conducted by Middle Tennessee State University showed Bredesen appealed to more voters than Blackburn even though she was endorsed by Senate Speaker Randy McNally and more than a dozen lawmakers, including Corker.
When asked about the close race with Bredesen, Blackburn said her campaign is doing "well" and intends to "earn every single vote."
The Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party said President Trump's presence could have a big impact on the outcome.
"I think we've got a long way to November," said Scott Golden. "I think everything is getting in place. I think the President lending his stamp of approval, I think that will go a long way."
It is a crucial race for both parties since Tennessee hasn't sent a Democrat to the US Senate in more than 20 years.