Sports radio host and ESPN critic mulls Senate run in Tennessee

Sports radio host and ESPN critic mulls Senate run in Tennessee
© Screenshot

Sports radio host Clay Travis said Wednesday he will consider running for Senate in Tennessee as an independent if incumbent Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTax Foundation: Senate reform bill would cost 6B GOP senators raise concerns over tax plan Dem House candidate apologizes for saying it 'shouldn't take brain cancer' for McCain to show courage MORE (R-Tenn.) does not seek reelection in 2018.

“I think I could get elected,” Travis said on his Fox Sports radio show “Outkick the Coverage.”

“There has to be no incumbent and Peyton Manning has to not run. Other than that I think I could beat anyone in the state,” he added, referring to the NFL legend, who played football at the University of Tennessee.

Travis’s national profile has increased dramatically in recent days. He has long been a critic of ESPN, alleging that the sports cable network has been infusing its coverage with left-wing politics.

That thrust him onto the national stage last week after ESPN anchor Jemele Hill was rebuked by the White House for calling President Trump a white supremacist.

Travis was a go-to pundit for the controversy and received further coverage after saying on CNN that the only things he believes in are “the First Amendment and boobs.”

Corker has not said yet whether he will seek reelection. If he does, pro-Trump outside groups and allies of former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon have said they'll be looking to recruit a primary challenger to run against him.

“If you went and walked around with me at a [University of Tennessee football] tailgate, let’s say next week when they’re playing Georgia next weekend, if I went around with a camera crew … we’d have 100 percent name recognition of people under the age of 50,” Travis said. “It’s positive name recognition … if you walked around with a camera, we’d make the Democrats and Republicans both incredibly nervous. They’d kill to have the recognition in the state. I think I could win as an independent.”

Travis has said he voted for former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Russian social media is the modern-day Trojan horse Trump records robo-call for Gillespie: He'll help 'make America great again' MORE twice. Still, he has been embraced on the right, where many share his view that ESPN has tacked hard to the left.

He said he might not run because he makes more money as a sports radio host than he would as a senator. If elected, Travis said that he’d want to continue on as a sports radio host but that there might be laws preventing him from doing so.

- Updated at 4:50 p.m.