After much thought, consideration and family discussion over the past year, Elizabeth and I have decided that I will leave the United States Senate when my term expires at the end of 2018.
When I ran for the Senate in 2006, I told people that I couldn’t imagine serving for more than two terms. Understandably, as we have gained influence, that decision has become more difficult. But I have always been drawn to the citizen legislator model, and while I realize it is not for everyone, I believe with the kind of service I provide, it is the right one for me.
The two-term senator from Tennessee is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Before this announcement, there had been some speculation of a primary challenge from the right. Sen. Corker has drawn repeated criticism during his time in the Senate for betrayal of conservative principles and his support of moderate positions, despite coming from a strongly conservative state.
A long time saboteur of conservative legislation, it would take all day to list the ways he scuttled conservative legislation and broke campaign promises. But here are a few recent examples:
He backed amnesty, including the 2013 Gang of 8 Amnesty Bill. He proposed a meaningless amendment to give cover to voting for it. When the bill ultimately failed, he chastised conservatives for being “demagogues” on immigration.
These are just a few of the big issues, in which he sided with liberals over the conservatives, who elected him.
Corker would periodically make public statements that espoused conservative ideas, but when push came to shove, he was usually a key vote in stopping conservatives and aiding liberals on Capitol Hill. Suffice it to say, he will not be missed by conservative voters.
Expect a major fight by Mitch McConnell and fellow moderates to keep a liberal Republican in that seat. Despite Tennessee’s strong conservative voting tendency, it will be a fight to get a real conservative, like Mike Lee or Ted Cruz, in there.
You can read the entire statement below: