Elites don't always know best; everyday American people do
Last fall, I met a man in Crossville who had just moved his family all the way from New York. He said to me, "When I moved to Tennessee, I felt like I moved back to America." In many ways, our country is off track. But America's best days are not
behind her. If the rest of the country can learn one thing from leading states like Tennessee, it's that when you trust your people, you'll succeed. The most elite, most educated people don't always know best--the everyday American people know best.
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature
, Feb 6, 2023
State slogan: "Tennessee - America at Its Best"
Last June, we commenced Untold Tennessee, a celebration of how the ordinary makes us extraordinary, to commemorate 225 years of statehood. Tennessee has been a beacon to those who wanted something more and needed a frontier to build their
American dream. In 1965, the General Assembly passed a resolution to adopt the state slogan: "Tennessee - America at Its Best". Over the years, leaders have reminded Tennesseans that America at Its Best is more than our slogan - it's our north star.
If we are to embody America at Its Best, that starts with acknowledging that it is our Creator who endows us with freedom, and the government merely maintains that freedom. I believe now more than ever we must show great discipline
and regard for our freedoms. One way we do that is through a small government that contributes to a safe and well-ordered society. Tennessee has pushed back on big government.
The governor declared Monday "a Day of Prayer & Fasting." Gov. Bill Lee signed the proclamation declaring Oct. 11 as a Day of Prayer & Fasting.
Lee said in a tweet that he is asking "Tennesseans to join Maria & me as we pause to acknowledge our blessings, seek God's guidance for our state & ask Him for healing, grace & favor for the days ahead."
Source: WSMV on 2022 Tennessee Gubernatorial race
, Oct 11, 2021
Called critical race theory is "un-American"
In the past year, at least eight Republican-controlled states, including Tennessee, have passed laws restricting how the concept of race can be taught. Republican Governor Bill Lee, who signed the measure into law, told reporters that critical race
theory is "un-American." The law prohibits public schools from teaching that anyone is "privileged" due to their race. Lessons also cannot make students feel "discomfort, guilt [or] anguish" because of their race or sex.
But I've learned over my 61 years of life that God is a Redeemer. He takes what is tragic and makes it transformational. There are things that we never would have known, insights we never would have been awakened to.
Through times of trial we become more purposeful and more resolute. We see things more clearly, we act with more intention and we have a greater opportunity more than ever to seize the moment and shape the future.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature
, Feb 8, 2021
Faith-based & community initiatives better than government
The voters did not send us here to create more government. They sent us here to protect their freedoms and their hard-earned money. So, to help protect taxpayer dollars and to engage some of our under-utilized citizens, one announcement
I am particularly excited to make is the Governor's Office of Faith-based & Community Initiatives. This office will leverage the non-profit community to not only make lives better but to reduce the responsibilities and ultimately the size of government.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Tennessee legislature
, Mar 6, 2019
Religious liberty is guaranteed to us by the constitution
We cannot compromise on religious liberty. Tennessee has a rich tradition of faith and civic leaders lifting up families and working together to make communities stronger. But that tradition cannot survive if religious liberty comes under attack.
Our constitution protects an absolute, fundamental right to live your life - at home and in the workplace - according to your values and your faith. Our state's leaders should defend that right.
Religious liberty is non-negotiable. One of the most fundamental Constitutional rights is the right to exercise your faith freely. Too many times, the phrase, "separation of church and state" has been twisted to mean "keep faith out of public life"
or, "leaders should check their values at the door when making decisions about right and wrong." That understanding is a mistake, and as governor, I will work to defend the freedom of every Tennessean to live his or her values.
Lee said his faith would influence his decisions as governor if elected, although he is not running to focus on social issues. "No one will outwork me and
I will run the most aggressive campaign in Tennessee history," he said. "We may not have as much pocket change as everyone else, but we'll burn more shoe leather than anybody."
Source: US News & World Report on 2018 Tennessee gubernatorial race
, Apr 23, 2017
We accomplished my vision at granddad's company
Rather than political service, Lee, who still lives on the cattle farm in Fernvale where he was raised, will lean on his lifelong career at Lee Co., a full-service home facilities and construction company founded by his grandfather in 1944, which
Lee later purchased from his father and became president in 1992.
Today, the company--which has offices in Huntsville, Ala.; Cookeville, Tenn.; and Bowling Green, Ky., in addition to its main office in Franklin--employs
1,150 people, mostly plumbers, pipe-fitters and welders, and generates about $225 million in annual revenue. "When I came to that company, I had a vision for it and we've accomplished that vision,"
Lee said. "Those experiences in life have really caused me to have a vision for Tennessee, so I've decided to pursue this endeavor."
Though he figures to attract pro-business Republicans, Lee, a self-described social conservative and former chairman of the Tennessee Prayer Breakfast, could find traction with faith voters. He said faith would influence his decisions as governor,
but insisted he is not running for office to focus on social issues.
[One analyst] called Lee a top-tier
Republican candidate who is not a politician in a traditional sense. "He can and will credibly argue that he is running for office to make a difference," Geer said. "Lee has all the ingredients to be a very successful candidate."
In a race most believe will be Tennessee's most expensive political primary ever, Lee is among multiple candidates who are expected to be in a position to self-finance a portion of their campaigns.
Endorsed Endorsed by Donald Trump/MAGA after presidency.
Lee is endorsed by Trump/MAGA endorsement list
Endorsements by Donald Trump, implying support of Trump's agenda and electoral style.
The phrase `Make America Great Again` was popularized in Trump`s 2015 book Time to Get Tough:Making America Great Again. It is the campaign slogan embroidered on the ubiquitous red caps seen at Trump rallies (which after Trump`s presidency, became known as `MAGA rallies`).
Source: Ballotpedia 2016-2022 endorsement list 2022-MAGA on Jan 1, 2022