Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) lavished praise for former Democrat Tennesee Gov. Phil Bredesen over Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn in the 2018 Senate midterm election, even suggesting that he will not campaign against the Democrat.
Sen. Corker offered strong praise for former Gov. Phil Bredesen on Wednesday and even suggested that Bredesen outpaces Blackburn by six points in the polls.
Corker also admitted that he will not campaign against Bredesen, and charged that the former Democrat governor would have “crossover appeal” in November’s heated Senate race.
“I think he has got real appeal,” Corker said. Sen. Corker, a “Never Trump” Republican, announced that he will retire at the end of his Senate term. The Tenessee senator also described Bredesen as a “friend of mine” and a partner for more than two decades.
Corker did say that he plans to vote for Blackburn over Bredesen and that he will contribute to her campaign.
Sen. Corker asked whether Bredesen’s crossover appeal attract enough voters to win the Senate election. Corker said, “In a state like ours that’s still a red state, is it enough?”
Bredesen sent a fundraising email out on Tuesday that featured Corker’s comments praising the former governor.
Corker admitted that he has closer ties to Bredesen than to Rep. Blackburn.
Sen. Corker said, “The reason I speak the way I do about the [former] governor is there’s just been such an intertwined working relationship on and off for 23 years.”
The retiring senator added:
I just never have had that kind of relationship with the congressperson. I mean, I’ve known her professionally, but it hasn’t been like we’ve been close friends and worked on issues together. I can’t think of a single piece of legislation we’ve ever worked on together.
Abbi Sigler, a Blackburn campaign spokeswoman, responded to the Corker comments, arguing that Bredesen will serve as a solid Democratic vote for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Sigler said, “Phil Bredesen will be a solid vote for Chuck Schumer and Obama, Clinton-era liberal policies, and Tennesseans are not interested in that.”
Republicans campaigning for Blackburn vented frustration about Corker’s praise for the Republican’s Democrat opponent.
One Senate GOP strategist said, “Senator Corker is actively trying to undermine Senate Republicans and President Trump’s agenda. It’s sad that he is spending his last days in the Senate helping Chuck Schumer.”
On Thursday, Sen. Corker expressed doubt on whether President Donald Trump will run for reelection in 2020.
Corker said, “I have no idea whether the president runs for re-election, nor what the field will be on the Republican side, so I think it’s way too early to weigh in on who one might support.”
When reporters pressed him on if he would support Trump, Corker admitted, “I want to know who else is in the field.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Blackburn has fought for President Trump’s agenda in the House as the Communications and Technology Subcommittee chairman.
In January, Blackburn told Breitbart News Sunday that building a wall on the U.S. southern border is “not just important,” but “imperative.”
Blackburn sponsored the Browser Act, which would give Internet users more control over their digital privacy. The Browser Act has gained momentum in the House after reports revealed that Cambridge Analytica used Facebook to gain access to the personal data of more than 87 million users.
“People are beginning to understand that you have a right to privacy when you go online. You have an expectation of privacy,” Blackburn said.
Blackburn also grilled Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in April during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about Facebook’s privacy scandal.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News Tonight, Blackburn explained how Zuckerberg admitted that Facebook is “subjective in how they manipulate these algorithms” to censor conservatives.