Bob Corker

Corker reported critical of Secretary of State Tillerson

From a Politico article:

Sen. Bob Corker, having already turned on the president, has a new target for his frustration: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The Tennessee Republican and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman has voiced concerns about Tillerson’s management of the State Department and his still-fuzzy plans to restructure it. At a Senate hearing earlier this week, Corker agreed with several criticisms of Tillerson and his team expressed by Democrats, adding that lawmakers need to be “much more focused on holding them accountable.”

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Andy Ogles quits U.S. Senate campaign

Press release from Andy Ogles campaign

Republican conservative U.S. Senate candidate Andy Ogles is ending his campaign for the U.S. Senate effective immediately.

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Corker holds hearing on use of nuclear weapons

Just a month after he warned that President Trump may be setting the nation on the path to World War III, Sen. Bob Corker will preside Tuesday over a hearing that will examine the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike, reports Michael Collins.

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Corker outdoes Alexander in critique of Roy Moore

Tennessee’s two U.S. senators have issued short comments distancing themselves from Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore following reports of the Republican former judge pursuing teenage girls years ago.

Sen. Bob Corker, via Twitter on Saturday (as reported by The Hill):

Look, I’m sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore’s nomination was a bridge too far.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, in a prepared statement (as reported earlier by The Tennessean and echoing several other prominent GOP politicians):

“If these disturbing allegations are true, Roy Moore should withdraw from the Senate race.”

 

Committee approves designation of 20,000 acres of Cherokee National Forest as wilderness

Press release from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today made the following statements after the Senate’s Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee advanced legislation they introduced earlier this year to preserve Tennessee’s heritage for future generations.

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National Democrats urging Bredesen to run for U.S. Senate

U.S. Senate Democrats are “strenuously wooing” former Tennessee Gov.  Phil Bredesen as a candidate for the seat being vacated next year by Republican Sen. Bob Corker, reports the New York Times as an example in an article generally focused on the minority party’s expanding hopes of making political gains and new efforts to do so.

Mr. Bredesen has been courted personally by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the (Senate) minority leader, as well as several governors who now serve in the Senate, including Mark Warner of Virginia, according to Democrats briefed on the overtures. And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee commissioned a poll aimed at coaxing Mr. Bredesen to run.

Mr. Bredesen is in Washington this week and is said to be nearing a decision.

James Mackler, a Nashville attorney and Iraq War veteran, is already running for the Democratic nomination, having entered the race before Corker announced he would not seek reelection.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher are running in the GOP primary with early polling indicating Blackburn may be the fronrunnner at this point.

Corker condemns Trump ‘pressuring’ of Justice Department, FBI

Press release from U.S. Sen. Bob Corker

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today (Friday) released the following statement on the importance of an independent justice system after reports that President Donald J. Trump refused to rule out firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions if the Department of Justice does not investigate what the president wishes.

“Like me, most Americans hope that our justice system is independent and free of political interference,” said Corker. “President Trump’s pressuring of the Justice Department and FBI to pursue cases against his adversaries and calling for punishment before trials take place are totally inappropriate and not only undermine our justice system but erode the American people’s confidence in our institutions.”

Some background from Michael Collins’ report on the news release:

Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday that he is “disappointed” with the Justice Department and won’t rule out firing Sessions, if Sessions won’t investigate Democrats.

“Honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats,” Trump said before departing the White House on a 12-day trip to Asia.

Trump wants the Justice Department and FBI to investigate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, in response to a newly published book excerpt from former acting Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile. The excerpt says the Clinton campaign was improperly running the party during the 2016 primaries.

National poll indicates Corker now more popular among Democrats than Republicans

Democrats are now prone to have a more favorable opinion of Tennessee’s Bob Corker than Republicans, according to an Economist/YouGov poll. Two other Republican U.S. senators who have clashed with President Donald Trump – John McCain and Jeff Flake, both of Arizona – are in a similar situation in the poll of 1,500 persons nationwide Oct. 29-31.

Corker had a 37 percent approval rating among Democrats, but just 15 percent approval among Republicans surveyed. At the same time, 45 percent of polled Republicans had an unfavorable view of Corker but only 22 percent of Democrats.

The Tennessean’s totals – Democrats, Republicans and independents combined – came out 23 percent favorable, 32 percent unfavorable.

There were a lot of “don’t know” responses on Corker and Flake. McCain, a former presidential nominee much better known nationally, was viewed favorably by 64 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans; unfavorably by 63 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats.

Norris questioned on gay marriage at hearing on confirmation as U.S. judge; no vote taken

Tennessee state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, nominated for a federal judgeship in West Tennessee, told U.S. senators Wednesday he considers the legality of same-sex marriage to be a settled issue and that he would follow it as a precedent if confirmed to the bench, reports Michael Collins.

The Senate Judiciary Committee took no vote Wednesday on whether to confirm President Donald Trump’s nomination of Norris, R-Colliervile, leaving that to another meeting.  Norris has supported state legislation that critics argue would undermine the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling that legalized gay marriage in 2015.

He also was one of the leading sponsors of a state resolution calling for a federal Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. (Note: The apparent reference is to SJR27 back in 2003, which had then-Sen.  David Fowler, now head of the Family Action Council of Tennessee and a staunch opponent of gay marriage, as prime sponsor and Norris as a co-sponsor.)

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Corker for president? ‘It’s way too early to be thinking about those things’

Retiring U.S. Sen. Bob Corker on Friday wouldn’t rule out a possible 2020 challenge to President Donald Trump, but stressed his primary focus remains on completing his third and final term in the Senate, reports the Times Free Press.

“The only thing I’m talking about now over the next 14 months truly is doing the best job I can as a senator,” the former Chattanooga mayor told reporters in Gatlinburg after a state economic and community development conference.

Asked whether he was thinking about or ruling out a Republican primary challenge to Trump in 2020, Corker said: “If you even begin thinking those things, everything you do becomes viewed through a different lens. I’ve got 14 months to do the best job that I can.”

“It’s way way too early,” Corker later noted. “Does [Trump] even run again? It’s way too early to be thinking about those things.”

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