U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) sharply criticized President Trump on Thursday at a Rotary Club luncheon in Chattanooga and said “radical changes” are needed at the White House.
Corker questioned Trump’s competence.
“He has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today, and he’s got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that,” Corker told reporters after the luncheon, according to WRCB Channel 3.
Corker’s latest criticism of Trump comes after a long string of other attacks he has made on the president that do not sit well with Republican primary voters in Tennessee. Tennessee’s junior senator is up for re-election in 2018.
Local reaction from Tennessee conservatives to Corker’s comments was harshly critical of the former mayor of Chattanooga, as these comments on the Nashville Tea Party Facebook page demonstrated.
“Ready to put my name on recall petition! Trump has done more for this country in six months than Corker has in his entire senatorial career. And to speak on ‘character’, Corker wouldn’t have a clue what the word means,” Carole posted.
“No Bob, it is the Senate who needs a Radical Change and that includes getting you and Lamar Alexander and I will work on that starting with the next election,” Jim posted.
“I have voted for you forever. When did you become part of the swamp?” Jerry asked.
“I will sign a recall petition and help with it. He doesn’t get it, we elected Trump to be different not to have the same type of Whitehouse or people working there. We like the difference. You need to resign because you do not represent the majority of the people of Tennessee. You are the biggest disappointment I have ever voted for,” Jerry added.
“You did not have anything to say when Obama was in office destroying our country! It seems to be the SWAMP that has problems, with President Trump making America Great Again. Are you running scared, too?” Joy posted.
A Tennessee Star poll conducted of likely Republican primary voters in June revealed that Corker is extremely vulnerable for an incumbent senator. In fact, in a hypothetical match up with Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), Corker is in a statistical tie.
So far, however, no credible challenger has announced, though several conservatives who support the Trump agenda are said to be considering a race.
Corker’s most recent remarks came as Trump faces criticism from mainstream media outlets, far left Democrats, and establishment Republicans over his comments regarding violent clashes Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacist demonstrators and radical leftist counterprotesters. Critics say Trump lent support to white supremacists by calling out the violence on both sides and saying that there were also innocent people on both sides. A man identified as a white supremacist killed a woman and injured around 20 when he drove his car into a crowd. Others were injured as fights broke out between both sides.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) on Thursday called for Trump to be impeached because of his comments.
In Chattanooga, Corker said, “I think that sometimes he gets in a situation where he doubles-down to try and make a wrong a right. I think he has done that in this case. I would ask that he take stock of who he is as president of all the people in our nation, and that he condemn those things that are separating us.”
Corker was considered as a possible running mate for Trump in last year’s presidential election. While he can be quite critical of Trump, Corker has also at times praised the president. Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has praised Trump for his efforts to destroy ISIS and for his first international trip as president. He also has backed recent efforts to repeal Obamacare.
Corker is scheduled to speak in Middle Tennessee on Friday. He will speak at 8 a.m. at the Operation Stand Down Tennessee Heroes Breakfast at the Omni Hotel in downtown Nashville, and at noon at a joint luncheon of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs in Columbia.