Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) went after his own party’s Senate Campaign Committee while announcing that he would campaign for the Republican nominee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn because Democratic nominee and former governor Phil Bredesen is a good friend.
Transcript via ABC’s This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: You also reported this week that something you said about the Tennessee senate race caught the eye of Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader. You were recorded saying the Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen is quote a very good mayor, a very good governor, a very good business person.
So what happened after that with Senator McConnell and who do you support in this Senate race?
CORKER: Well I’m supporting the nominee, everyone knows that. I’ve sent the maximum check (ph), plan to vote for them. What — what is unbelievable to me, George, is that the leadership of the Republican senatorial (ph) committee would leak out this conversation purposely to the Washington Post to get you to ask me questions about this.
I — I don’t even know what they’re thinking.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you think they are thinking?
CORKER: You know, I’ve been real clear — I have no idea. I mean, it’s — it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen politically in recent times, but apparently, they want you to ask me about the Tennessee race.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the answer is — you just said — so you’re supporting the Republican nominee Marsha Blackburn?
CORKER: Yes. I mean, it’s been clear. I mean, I sent the maximum check as soon as it was determined that she was our nominee. What I said what I’ve got a friend that I’ve been working with for 23 years on the Democratic side. We’ve worked — I was Mayor of Chattanooga, I was commissioner of finance for our state. We’ve done a lot of things together and he’s a friend.
I’m not going to campaign against him but certainly — you know, I’m — I’ve sent the maximum contribution plan to support the nominee and — and yet for some reason in their brilliance, the Republican Senatorial Committee tried to create a big story out of this so you and other stations this morning would ask me questions. I don’t know what the outcome is they’re looking for here, but obviously, it’s again being asked (ph).
Corker never said Republican nominee Marsha Blackburn’s name. He only referred to her as “the nominee.” Secondly, Corker isn’t going to campaign for her. Thirdly, giving the maximum personal contribution is the equivalent of doing nothing for Blackburn. Bob Corker has more than $6 million in campaign committee account, and he sent Marsha Blackburn $2,700.
The message that Sen. Corker is sending clear. He is supporting the Republican nominee in the loosest sense of the word. Corker is pretty much staying out of the race, and it appears that it would be fine with him if his friend won the seat for the Democrats in November.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association