Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday announced that he would not run for reelection in 2018, increasing the GOP’s chances of losing the Senate in 2018. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is one of the GOP’s most pro-Israel lawmakers, and worked to block the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran. He helped pass a law ahead of the 2015 vote which put in place a 90 day delay in the agreement being implemented, which he told the Jewish Journal “infuriated the Obama administration and forced them to come forth with all of the details of the agreement in advance.”
“That was the first time that I can remember in the ten and a half years that I’ve been here, that we took back power from the executive branch,” Corker recalled. But some in Washington said that Corker did not fight hard enough against the Iran deal.
Presenting himself as a “realist” on the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Sen. Corker did not support S.11, which demanded moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But he was one of the key supporters of the Taylor Force Act that cuts US economic aid to the Palestinian Authority until they cease payments to terrorists, forcing the PA “to make a choice: either face the consequences of stoking violence or end this detestable practice immediately,” as he put it.
A June poll by The Tennessee Star showed that 41 percent of Republican primary voters supported Corker, while 42 percent of respondents wanted someone else. Corker, who was in the running for President Trump’s Secretary of State, denied that the reason for his early retirement was his fear that Trump would push a rival candidate in the 2018 Tennessee GOP primaries.