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Corker on migrant caravan: GOP 'using fear to stimulate' midterm voters

Corker on migrant caravan: GOP 'using fear to stimulate' midterm voters
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Fox News inks contributor deal with former Democratic House member MORE (R-Tenn.) said Republicans are using news of a migrant caravan to try to motivate GOP voters ahead of next week's midterm elections, with the party hammering immigration in the final days before voters cast ballots.

"We all know what's happening. It's all about revving up the base, using fear to stimulate people to come out at the polls," Corker told reporters in Nashville on Wednesday.

Corker added that the caravan is a "football" issue and recalled how a friend recently asked him if he thought it was being funded by a wealthy Democratic donor.

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"I said, are you kidding me? If anybody’s funding it, it's some Republican donor, because it has obviously turned into an election issue that has benefited the Republican side," Corker said.

His comments come as President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors MORE has seized on the migrant caravan, ordering troops to the U.S.-Mexico border and saying the group of immigrants is "made up of some very bad thugs and gang members."

"Our military is being mobilized at the Southern Border. Many more troops coming. We will NOT let these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come in legally. TURN AROUND!" Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Trump is focusing on immigration as he tries to motivate his base of voters to turn out next week, when control of Congress hangs in the balance. In addition to the caravan, Trump floated this week that he could try to end birthright citizenship by executive order—a claim dismissed by legal experts.

Corker added that he did not believe Trump could change birthright citizenship, which stems from the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, through an executive order.

"That's not possible. It's a constitutional amendment and you cannot - thankfully, for our country, regardless of what the issue is - you cannot change the constitution by executive order. I do think we should look at the issue, though," he said.