Retiring U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) said that he has not ruled out running against President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential primary in 2020.
Breitbart reported the story on Wednesday.
When asked by reporters Tuesday if he plans to run for president in 2020, Corker said, “I have not ruled it out.”
Reporters said that their colleagues often ask Corker this question, to which he usually gives a vague answer.
2020 WATCH: Will Sen. Bob Corker run for President???
“I haven’t ruled it out.”
— Natalie Andrews (@nataliewsj) November 13, 2018
this is my favorite oft-repeated question in the Senate basement, to which Bob Corker always offers a similarly vague answer https://t.co/4ptmylFNYo
— Haley Byrd (@byrdinator) November 13, 2018
This is not the first time people have speculated on Corker running against Trump. In October 2017, News Channel 9 in his hometown of Chattanooga asked voters for their thoughts. Chattanooga Tea Party leader Mark West said at the time he wouldn’t be surprised if Corker runs but hopes he doesn’t.
Corker announced his retirement in September 2017 amidst increasing unpopularity in Tennessee, which arose from his frequent criticism of the president and his America First agenda.
He received criticism for praising Democrat and former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen during the U.S. Senate election to replace him, in which he admitted that he has closer ties to Bredesen compared to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) who will replace Corker in January.
While speaking to reporters in August, Corker criticized President Donald Trump’s removal of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance as “kind of a banana republic kind of thing,” The Tennessee Star reported, citing Breitbart. And part of a “tearing down of institutions” instead of building them up. In July, Corker likened the Trump Administration to a “banana republic” for wanting to yank the security clearances.
Corker also said that he would back legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller if it came to the Senate floor for a vote, Breitbart said. The legislation arose as Trump appointed Matt Whitaker to serve as his Acting Attorney General.
Corker joins fellow U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who said last week that “somebody needs to run” against Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential primary nomination. Flake suggested Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) as potential challengers.
Trump in October 2017 said Corker and Flaker were retiring because they were unpopular.
“The reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected,” Trump wrote in October 2017. “Now act so hurt & wounded!”
The reason Flake and Corker dropped out of the Senate race is very simple, they had zero chance of being elected. Now act so hurt & wounded!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2017
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.