Blackburn pushes back on potential Corker bid: 'I'm going to win'

Blackburn pushes back on potential Corker bid: 'I'm going to win'
© Greg Nash

Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly The Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates MORE is holding firm amid rumors that Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips Corker GOP senator: Kavanaugh accuser 'moving the goalposts' Grassley willing to send staff to California to speak with Kavanaugh accuser Corker blasts Trump's 'ready, fire, aim' trade policy MORE (R-Tenn.) might run for reelection after all, saying that she's running for the Senate seat no matter what Corker decides. 

Corker's office said this week that he's considering calls from some Republicans to return to the race. But when asked by Republican radio host Hugh Hewitt on his radio show if she still plans to run no matter what, Blackburn stayed firm on her bid.
 
"I am running, and I’m going to win. I think what Tennesseans want to see, Hugh, is a true conservative in the U.S. Senate. They want to see somebody there that is going to back Donald Trump and his agenda," Blackburn said. 
 
When asked by Hewitt if she thinks she'd beat Corker if he jumped into the race, she replied "I certainly do." 
 
Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's foreign affairs confidantes, has had a turbulent relationship with the president. 
 
The two initially had a strong relationship, but relations collapsed after Corker delivered strong criticisms of Trump over Trump's equivocating statement about violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia and comments that seemed to undermine negotiations with North Korea. 
 
Trump eventually chided the senator as "Liddle Bob Corker," while the senator responded by blasting the White House as an "adult day care center." 
 
The frost has appeared to thaw somewhat this year — Corker accompanied Trump on a trip to Tennessee earlier this year and later praised Trump. 
 
Now other senators, worried that former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) could win the seat for Democrats, have urged Corker to step back in.
 
But Blackburn's campaign has blasted that prospect, saying anyone doubting her general election prospects is a "sexist pig." Blackburn has also retained key support from the network of donors led by conservative billionaire brother Charles and David Koch, even in the face of Corker's potential entry into the race.