NASHVILLE, Tennessee — State Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) on Friday said U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) was out of line in his recent harsh criticism of President Trump.
As a leading U.S. senator, Corker should know better than to undermine the president at a time when the country is facing tough challenges at home and abroad, Matheny said.
“You don’t speak like that about the president. You just don’t. He ought to be ashamed,” Matheny told The Tennessee Star at Legislative Plaza, where Matheny was receiving an award from the Center for Security Policy for his efforts to fight terrorism.
Corker told reporters in Chattanooga last week that “radical changes” are needed at the White House. He questioned Trump’s competence and his understanding of what has made the U.S. a great nation. Trump fired back on Friday with a tweet saying, “Strange statement by Bob Corker considering that he is constantly asking me whether or not he should run again in ’18. Tennessee not happy!”
Trump has been bombarded with criticism from the mainstream media, the left and establishment Republicans like Corker in the wake of his comments blaming both sides for the recent violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and radical leftists. Critics say his remarks indirectly supported white supremacy.
Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been critical of Trump in the past, but his remarks last week were his strongest to date. Corker has not said whether he will seek a third term in 2018, but a Tennessee Star Poll shows he’s vulnerable.
Matheny, who is running for Congress, said he has met many conservatives across the state who are frustrated with Corker’s “general lack of leadership in support of the president.”
“Trump is the right man for the times,” Matheny said. “We need to get behind him.”
Matheny is making a bid for the Republican nomination for the 6th Congressional District seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Diane Black, who is running for governor.