Corker: 'I just don't' see path to challenge Trump in 2020

Corker: 'I just don't' see path to challenge Trump in 2020
© Stefani Reynolds

Former Republican Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' MORE (Tenn.) on Monday appeared to voice an unwillingness to launch a 2020 primary challenge against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE, saying that he didn't really see a path for a presidential candidacy. 

"I think for someone to undertake that, they have to feel there's at least somewhat of an opportunity to actually be elected," Corker, a fierce critic of Trump's, told reporters after a speech at the Nashville Rotary Club, according to The Times Free Press. "I see no point in just doing it to [run], you know, I just don't."

Corker, who served in the Senate between 2007 and 2019, added that "if I thought there was a real opportunity to focus on the kind of things that I'd like to focus on, some of which I mentioned today, I would strongly consider it."

Corker repeatedly criticized Trump during the first two years of his presidency, and occasionally sparred with the president over their differences. Corker once referred to the White House as an "adult day care center."

Trump claimed that Corker announced his retirement in 2018 because he refused to endorse a possible run for reelection. 

But Corker's former chief of staff, Todd Womack, said in 2017 that Trump pushed the Tennessee senator to run again and offered to endorse him

Corker said last month that a GOP primary challenge against Trump would be "a good thing for our country."

“If you had a real primary, where you had someone that was really being listened to, and of substance, things that we were talking about — and I could go through a list of them — they would actually be debated in a real way,” he said at the Time 100 Summit.

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld became the first Republican to launch a primary challenge against Trump earlier this year.