Corker defends favorable comments about Bredesen on national TV shows

Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker defended his favorable comments about former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat running to succeed him,  on two national TV talk shows Sunday though other Republicans have criticized his remarks as possibly damaging Republican Marsha Blackburn’s prospects. Corker also repeated his general support for “our nominee” though never mentioning Blackburn by name.

From the Times Free Press:

Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made back-to-back appearances on CNN’s “State of the Union” and ABC’s “This Week.”

“He is my friend,” Corker said regarding Bredesen to CNN’s Dana Bash. “I’m not going to campaign against him, but I’m supporting our nominee.”

Asked why Blackburn would be better than Bredesen, Corker said, “I think most people in our state, it is a red state, will focus on the first vote she makes, and that’s the vote to elect the majority leader. And at the end of the day, I think that’s going to be a big factor in the race.”

As Bash pointed out, that didn’t exactly sound like a “ringing endorsement” of Blackburn’s candidacy, Corker replied, “I’m supporting the nominee. I’ve worked with the nominee for some time, and I don’t know what else to say.”

Speaking later with ABC’s George Stephanopoulis, Corker said “Yes, I mean it’s been clear. I sent the maximum check [to Blackburn] as soon as it was determined that she was our nominee.”

“What I said, I’m supporting the nominee,” Corker added. “Everyone knows that. I sent the maximum check and plan to vote for them.”

In both appearances, Corker took a swipe at the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee he accused of leaking to The Washington Post concerns raised by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to Corker on the Senate floor about the senator’s favorable remarks about Bredesen. The remarks came at a Wednesday breakfast discussion hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Corker described Bredesen at the event as “a very good mayor, a very good governor, a very good business person. And look, I’m not going to campaign against someone who I’ve been a friend with and worked with, so that’s the way it’s gonna be.”

An excerpt from the referenced Washington Post report:

The remarks set off alarm bells at the highest levels of the Republican Party and supporters of the leading GOP candidate in the race, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, interpreted them as a personal slight. McConnell’s allies spoke with White House aides about organizing a public response.

President Trump called Blackburn on Wednesday from his club in Palm Beach, Fla., and told her he disagreed with Corker’s comments and promised to help her campaign, according to two people familiar with the call who requested anonymity to speak candidly. Trump tweeted his endorsement of Blackburn on Thursday afternoon.

McConnell and Corker, who has said he will support Blackburn, had a lengthy discussion on the Senate floor Wednesday about his remarks, according to three people with knowledge of the conversation. McConnell told Corker his comments were unhelpful — both in the Tennessee race and in the larger battle for the Senate majority, the individuals said.

McConnell also reminded Corker that Republicans were in the current situation only because Corker had decided to retire. Bredesen, a top Democratic recruit, entered the race after Corker bowed out. The conversation did not end on a confrontational note, the individuals said.

7 Responses to Corker defends favorable comments about Bredesen on national TV shows

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    If Marsha Blackburn’s record as a Big Spender, Big government, Less Liberty should get well know, she may not win. She is Deep State, supports More government spying on citizens and More Sovereignty destroying ‘trade’ deals.

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    I’m afraid there’s no getting around the fact that the while the Democratic Party is a real political party insofar as it serves as both a vehicle for the election of individuals AND an organization with a serious ideological mission, while the Republican Party may be the former, but it certainly is only vaguely the latter. As Republicans we simply shouldn’t be electing individuals to congress that have, or are likely to have, a Heritage score of 63% and a Conservative Review Liberty Score of F(51%) like Sen. Corker. If we do, we get a centrist/tepid conservative who really can’t get that enthused about a conservative like Marsha Blackburn, nor can they really be that opposed to liberal Democrats especially when there is an element of personal friendship thrown in the mix. How often do you see Democrats electing a centrist/tepid liberal?

    The lesson in all of this is for Republicans to carefully examine a candidate’s background for conservative involvement no matter how rich he is, whether or not he splashes “CONSERVATIVE” on his print adds in real big letters, or how often his TV/radio adds say the word “conservative” in 30 or 60 seconds. If we can’t bestir ourselves to do that and vote accordingly we will get a Corker. It’s as simple as that.

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    William Upton says:

    Corker’s 2 faced. I can’t think there are that many people that pay any attention to him for him to make a real difference. I would feel even better about a candidate who doesn’t have his endorsement.

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    Stefan Smith says:

    Can Corker cause anymore pain to the Republican party. First, he challenges the President’s agenda and now he all but gives his endorsement to Bredesen and will not even mention Martha Blackburn by name. I think William Upton has it right, this will strengthen support for Blackburn.

  • Avatar
    Eddie White says:

    Bob Corker has turned into a real disappointment for Republicans. It seems he enjoys the attention he receives from his comments. I guess I am not too surprised by his endorsement of Bredesen. They are two peas in the same pod. Both with a lot of money and too much time on their hands.

  • Avatar
    Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    WHY ARE YOU People that looks like to me haveTUNNEL VISION! You Vote for A REPUBLICAN I DONT CAREwho he/she is. Hell The Republicans Damn sure ain’t going to do a DAMN THING for Middle Class and BELOW except try and make them pay for everything, I haven’t seen the first Republican say anything about undocumented,drugs,teachers,school boards,Halsam,Black,Blackburn,Alexander,Dejaria. By the way BLACLBURN want BEAT BREDESEN. Also, the State Senator that said 50% of his district wanted LIQUOR SALES ON SUNDAY, HE forgot to tell you it was 25% LOBBYIST AND 25% SPECIAL INTEREST. REMEMBER ALLyou GREEDY REPUBLICANS WILL MEAN YOUR MAKER. And you probably went to Church Sunday. Can YALL Say HIPPOCRATEIAL. BUT be ready for this USA TO BE TAKEN OVER by soneone from the Middle East. Your MONEY want by a bowl of BEANS.

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    Steve L. says:

    And how much of these candidate problems stem from the “tepid” Conservative head of the Republican Party in Tennessee: Governor Haslam. Corker fits in quite nicely with the Haslam RINO brigade. We need a TRUE Conservative in Nashville to be Governor. Only then will we start to see better primary candidates. And the only reason we are seeing liquor sales on Sunday, IMHO, is because the Governor will sign the bill. A true Conservative Governor would not sign it.

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