Last fall, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) made the surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election in November. Now — with Republicans worried about losing Senate seats to Democrats and Corker's relationship with President Trump somewhat mended — he's listening to people who are asking him to reconsider.
On Monday night, Corker told NPR he didn't have anything to say about his plans, but on Tuesday evening, spokeswoman Micah Johnson put out a statement saying Corker has been approached by people in Tennessee who have "concerns about the outcome of this election because they believe it could determine control of the Senate and the future of our agenda. The senator has been encouraged to reconsider his decision and is listening closely."
Over the weekend, CNN reported that Corker's fellow Republicans have been hoping Corker will run again, especially if the Democrats nominate popular former Gov. Phil Bredesen. So far, there are six candidates in the GOP Senate primary, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Corker was close to Trump during his presidential campaign but made several critical statements against him throughout 2017; they have made strides in repairing their relationship, and people close to Corker told NPR it's not surprising the senator is now reconsidering his decision. Corker needs to make up his mind pretty soon: He has until April 5 to file for re-election. Catherine Garcia
Before getting upset about something President-elect Donald Trump has said, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says he waits to see if he actually means it. "I do not respond to every comment by the president-elect because it may be reversed the next day," McCain said Monday in an interview with Reuters.
McCain's comment was prompted by a question about Trump's suggestion Sunday that the U.S. should not have to adhere to the longstanding "one China" policy, which recognizes Taiwan as a province of the mainland rather than as an independent nation. "I fully understand the 'one China' policy," Trump said on Fox News Sunday, "but I don't know why we have to be bound by a 'one China' policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade."
While an angry Beijing certainly took Trump's comment seriously, McCain said Monday that no one should "leap to conclusions" about Trump actually ditching the diplomatic norm of a unified China, which China's Foreign Ministry has described as "the political bedrock for the development [of] U.S.-China relations." Becca Stanek
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) swears he's not running for president, but a video he released Thursday is leaving people further skeptical that's the case. The video, "Politics These Days," offers a sweeping view of Ryan's policy plans and an optimistic outlook on moving past today's partisan fighting. It's so inspirational, in fact, that some are suggesting it's a stealth campaign ad for 2016.
"What really bothers me the most about politics these days is this notion of identity politics: that we're going to win an election by dividing people, rather than inspiring people," Ryan says in a clip of a speech featured in the video, before moving on to a veiled attack on current Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. The video closes with a link to Ryan's #ConfidentAmerica slate of policy positions on health care, poverty, and job creation.
Take a look below. Becca Stanek
Reports that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry didn't vote in the Lone Star State's Republican presidential primary are further stoking rumors that the onetime Republican presidential candidate is considering running as an independent. While Perry insists that he filled out a ballot and mailed it in "within 72 hours of receiving it," the election administrator in Fayette County — where Perry is registered to vote — says that a "voted ballot was never received" from Perry.
If true, that would check off one of two requirements for someone in Texas to run as an independent candidate, the Texas Tribune reports:
There are two key requirements in Texas for someone to run as an independent candidate for president. First, a candidate would have had to abstain from voting in one of the state's primaries because doing so would declare themselves as either a Democrat or Republican. Second, a candidate would need to gather 79,939 signatures by May 9 from Texans who had also not voted in either of the primaries that year. [Texas Tribune]
Despite reportedly being floated as a possible independent candidate by GOP leaders, Perry maintains that he has no plans to run. He has already endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the Republican race and, just last week, Perry's former campaign manager Jeff Miller once again said that Perry's "got no interest in running."
Vice President Joe Biden spent Labor Day in Pittsburgh, and told supporters who cheered "Run, Joe, run!" that they were asking the wrong person.
"You got to talk to my wife," he responded. "I've got to talk to my wife about that." Biden was in Pittsburgh to attend a Labor Day parade and to speak in front of 200 union workers and their families at the United Steelworkers' headquarters, NBC News reports. While there, he drew on talking points that might one day end up in a campaign speech, saying too many companies are more concerned about putting profits into stock buybacks and leaders "don't look out for you." American companies are returning to the U.S. from setting up shop overseas, he said, but in order to be successful they have to offer higher wages, invest in infrastructure, and give workers better access to education. Catherine Garcia