Corker struggles to praise GOP senate candidate

Outgoing Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) defends his praise of Democrat Phil Bredesen, who's running in the race to replace him. However, he said he still plans to support the Republican nominee.

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 5:58 PM
Updated: Apr 23, 2018 5:58 PM

Outgoing Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker on Sunday defended his praise of the Democrat running in the race to replace him, but said he still plans to support the Republican nominee.

"He is my friend," Corker said of the candidate, former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen,to CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." "I'm not going to campaign against him, but I'm supporting our nominee."

Corker, who has publicly criticized President Donald Trump, announced last year he would not seek re-election. Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn is running to replace him, and has Trump's backing against Bredesen.

When Bash asked Corker why Blackburn was better, he responded, "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."

Corker commented on the race last Wednesday during a breakfast event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. He said he was following through on his pledge to support Blackburn as the GOP choice, but also outlined his positive view of the state's former two-term Democratic governor.

"He was a very good mayor, a very good governor, a very good business person," He said at the event. "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."

After the event, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Corker those comments were unhelpful as the GOP seeks to retain both that Senate seat and control of the narrowly held chamber, The Washington Post reported.

In his interview with CNN on Sunday, Corker expressed some annoyance that the story of his conversation with McConnell had been disclosed to the press and reiterated his official support for Blackburn without mentioning her by name.

"It's hard to believe that the leadership of the senatorial committee on the Republican side would even leak that story out to The Washington Post and cause you to ask me about it," he said. "Look, I've sent the maximum contribution to the Republican nominee on our side. I've said I'm gonna plan to vote for this person."

When Bash pointed out that his endorsement for Blackburn was not that enthusiastic, Corker responded, "Well, Dana, you know I'm supporting the nominee. I've worked with the nominee for some time, and I don't know what else to say."

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Ramsey3189134
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Dakota138859
Washington67033
Olmsted65411
Kandiyohi5051
Rice4802
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Clay43529
Mower3662
Wright3322
Todd3300
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Carver2242
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Steele1670
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Redwood60
Renville50
Traverse40
Grant40
Red Lake40
Clearwater30
Hubbard30
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Roseau30
Houston20
Stevens10
Lake10
Kittson10

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Confirmed Cases: 20264

Reported Deaths: 574
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4406134
Woodbury281737
Black Hawk175946
Linn96779
Dallas92924
Buena Vista9181
Marshall90118
Johnson6169
Wapello60714
Muscatine56341
Crawford5422
Tama40828
Scott36810
Dubuque35121
Louisa34611
Pottawattamie29610
Sioux2900
Jasper26317
Wright1940
Washington1928
Warren1530
Plymouth1392
Allamakee1204
Story1181
Mahaska9712
Poweshiek918
Henry722
Bremer696
Boone670
Des Moines661
Clinton651
Clarke640
Taylor590
Guthrie533
Cedar491
Hamilton450
Benton441
Webster441
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones370
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Marion340
Clayton343
Osceola340
Iowa330
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Jefferson330
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Madison292
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Clay210
Grundy200
Mills200
Floyd191
Emmet190
Hardin190
Lucas191
Delaware191
Humboldt181
Butler171
Hancock160
Franklin150
Page140
Pocahontas140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Appanoose143
Audubon131
Jackson130
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Winnebago110
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Union90
Van Buren90
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Calhoun40
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