It's all on tape, and right-wing radio is going crazy over it, playing both of Williams' comments over and over ad nauseum.
"I think there's some question as to whether or not this guy has mental problems because he's still telling the media he never said that," Steve Gill said on his show Saturday. "We've got it on tape."
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Gill's guest, was suitably impressed. "Wow, wow, wow," Ramsey said.
That Williams might be insane was one of the more polite things Gill had to say about him Saturday. A sampling:
* "They ought to call this guy Mr. Liar, not Mr. Speaker."
* He's "nothing but a lying, cheating, backstabbing, traitorous piece of scum. The guy is despicable. He's beneath contempt."
* "There is nothing you can trust that comes from the lips of this man."
* "No integrity, no credibility, no character, no honesty, not a shred of decency in this lying piece of scum's body."
* "Completely inept. Complete and utter dolt. Put aside his lack of integrity, he's an idiot."
Ramsey said Williams "sold his soul." According to Ramsey, "We all knew who the weak link was. We all knew who was for sale, who would go to the highest bidder. That was Kent Williams, of course. ... But at the same time, he was literally telling everyone ... 'I'm voting for Jason Mumpower, no question about it.' "
More Ramsey: "I'm going to have to work with this man, I guess. I'm going to make sure Jason's in the room with me so I have a witness to what he tells me. ... We can see the trend lines in the state of Tennessee, and I think we'll pick two or three more seats in the state House next time. He will be a one-time wonder in my opinion, and it's going to be difficult to work with him. You don't put a title in front of your name and suddenly you have trust. I would have had more respect for him if he had voted for Jimmy Naifeh, I honestly would. There's going to come a day when the Democrats wish they had never done this. I firmly believe this."
The No. 2 House Republican, Glen Casada, came on Gill's show to cast a few aspersions of his own at Williams. In his two years in the legislature, Casada said Williams was "kind of like a lost ball in high weeds."
The Republican Party ought to throw Williams out, Casada said. He said Williams "keeps saying every time I meet with him" since the speaker election, 'Glen, I want you to know I'm a Republican.' "
"We'll get some things passed," Casada said. "We're going to make it work. It's not our first choice, it's not what's best for Tennessee, but we are going to make it work."
What does Williams say when you ask him why he lied? Gill asked Casada.
"His comment was, 'I did what I had to do because I can get things done and I'm the only one who can do it.' "