Mayor Berke says GOP's path to Trump began in places like Tennessee

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.

NASHVILLE - National Republicans' path to Donald Trump began in part in places such as the GOP-dominated Tennessee General Assembly, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke told state delegates to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.

A former Democratic state senator himself, Berke sought to underscore his assertion by reading controversial quotations from GOP presidential nominee Trump, state Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, former state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

"Some of your Republican friends - the ones who claim to be reasonable - they're going to talk about Donald Trump as an aberration," Berke was quoted as saying by The Tennessean newspaper at the Philadelphia gathering. "Something out of the blue. They want you to think he's on the edge of the cliff, saying these things just by himself."