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Bob Corker 2016: What 4 Liberal Pundits Say About Potential GOP Presidential Hopeful

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By    |   Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 12:37 PM

Perhaps a testament to 2016 presidential GOP potential candidate Sen. Bob Corker’s reflective and collaborative approach to Washington’s gridlock is the tepid criticism — and sometimes praise — he receives from liberal pundits. The Tennessee senator’s rhetoric is tame and cuts across both sides of the aisle.

Recently Corker, who hasn’t formally announced a 2016 run for the highest office, has criticized his Republican colleagues for political attacks in the immigration reform debate.

“I get really frustrated with people on my side of the aisle who say that anything you do on immigration is amnesty,” Corker said after a speech to civic groups in Columbia, Tennessee. “I saw it play out in these congressional races, where people were actually trying to solve the problem, and the only word people used was amnesty.”

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At the same time, Corker issued a statement in November 2014 calling President Barack Obama’s recent executive order not to deport nearly 5 million people living in the country illegally a blatant overreach of presidential powers.

A month later Corker joined 27 other GOP senators who voted to support funding for Obama’s amnesty order. While earning criticism from conservatives, Corker explained his vote as a moderate move in the best interest of the country: "The president is blatantly ignoring the rule of law and Congress' constitutional role, and I could not be more disappointed. Congress has to respond, but the response should be prudent and we should not lose sight of the fact that our job over the next two years is to enact policies that will make our nation stronger."

Here’s what some of the major liberal pundits are saying about Corker and his across-the-aisle quests for solving problems.

1. Ezra Klein

The Washington Post blogger is luminary among the liberal wonks. He’s known for “doing the best progressive analysis of the policies set in Washington,” according to Business Insider’s list of the most influential political pundits.

Klein has interviewed Corker many times, and is given to presenting transcripts of the interview rather than his interpretive viewpoint.

Urgent: Do You Support Bob Corker for the GOP Nomination? Vote Here Now

2. Niels Lesniewski

Admittedly not conservative, yet not quite liberal, Lesniewski writes favorably about Corker’s tendency to call both sides on hyperbole to make their point. The CQ Roll Call reporter has tweeted some of Corker’s clever jabs at the media as in this Aug. 31, 2013, tweet that alludes to Corker being on the inside of discussions before the president announced his military action plan for Syria.



3. David Weigel

The former Slate pundit now roving reporter for BloombergPolitics.com has mixed but mild commentaries about Corker. In a 2012 article “Bob Corker and the Illusion of Momentum,” Weigel castigated the Sunday NBC morning show "Meet the Press" and Corker for “giving the illusion that a broader conversation” is substantively happening on Capitol Hill about taxation of the wealthy. Other senators have been on record for years, Weigel argued, yet no movement has. In this case, Weigel referred to Corker being the latest of willing-to-compromise senators presented on the show discussing their willingness to raise the tax rate on the wealthy.

4. Jessica Schulberg

The New Republic pundit took Corker lightly to task about legislation he tried to pass overturning “the minimal sanctions relief provided to Iran” during nuclear negotiations in 2013. Her criticism argued that Iran was cooperating in the negotiations by freezing its nuclear program in exchange for relief. Corker’s stance was naïve at best Schulberg wrote and could possibly derail the fragile negotiations.

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Perhaps a testament to 2016 presidential GOP potential candidate Sen. Bob Corker’s reflective and collaborative approach to Washington’s gridlock is the tepid criticism — and sometimes praise — he receives from liberal pundits. The senator’s rhetoric is tame and cuts across both sides of the aisle.
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