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Like VP Contention, Corker Pulls Himself Off-Stage For Republican Convention

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) says he thinks of himself as a "policy guy" and not overly political.
File: U.S. Embassy Moldova via Flickr
Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) says he thinks of himself as a "policy guy" and not overly political.

Hear the radio version of this story.

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is no longer speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week. He says he will be there, but he turned down an opportunity to be on stage.

The two-term senator says his decision not to give a political speech was similar to his reasoning for pulling out of consideration to be Donald Trump's running mate — it didn't feel right.

"I'm just more of a conversational kind of guy," he said in Nashville Friday. "To get up in front of a scrillion people — none of whom are listening to you — and deliver a teleprompter speech is probably not my best use of time."

When Corker appeared alongside Trump last week, he spoke for just two minutes.

Ten days after withdrawing from contention for the vice presidential spot, Corker says he knew by the afternoon of his day-long meeting with Trump that the job wasn't for him.

"I started each meeting saying, 'guys, I just want you to know I've never envisioned myself serving in this capacity.' I've always thought that if I were to serve in an administration for someone else that it would be more in one of these other positions."

Corker is still rumored to be up for a position like Secretary of State. At the convention, Corker says he will spend his time meeting with ambassadors in his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Brentwood Congressman Marsha Blackburn is scheduled to speak at the Republican convention, tentatively on Friday night when Trump is supposed to accept the nomination.

Corker says he still supports Trump, though he describes it as backing "the party's nominee." He says he's willing to join Trump at a campaign rally in Tennessee. Though he doubts that will happen since the state is considered safely Republican.

Copyright 2016 WPLN News

Blake Farmer
Blake Farmer is WPLN's assistant news director, but he wears many hats - reporter, editor and host. He covers the Tennessee state capitol while also keeping an eye on Fort Campbell and business trends, frequently contributing to national programs. Born in Tennessee and educated in Texas, Blake has called Nashville home for most of his life.