Need a sign that President Donald Trump’s tenure so far is falling apart? Look to members of his own party, such as United States Sen. Bob Corker from Tennessee, who is signaling he won’t support Trump in his re-election bid three years from now.
The feud between Corker and Trump escalated to new heights on Tuesday morning, ahead of an important meeting between Trump and GOP senators set to commence that afternoon.
The meeting discussed changes to the tax code, which under Trump’s proposal would mean huge giveaways to the wealthiest Americans, likely also resulting in tax increases to some in the middle class.
Corker has expressed apprehension about rushing the process.
“Unless it reduces deficits — let me say that one more time — unless it reduces deficits and does not add to deficits with reasonable and responsible growth models, and unless we can make it permanent, I don't have any interest in” the tax plan, he said earlier this month.
Trump’s proposal will likely result in higher deficits, as it cuts revenues without cutting spending.
Corker also spoke on the “Today” show Tuesday morning, saying that Trump’s visit was more of a photo op than anything else.
Trump took time out on Tuesday morning to respond to Corker on Twitter, attacking him on several fronts.
In a series of tweets Tuesday morning, Trump belittled Corker by insulting his work with the Obama administration and calling him “liddle Bob Corker” and a “lightweight.” Trump also reiterated claims that Corker decided not to seek re-election because the president refused to endorse him, a claim that Corker has denied in the past.
Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2017
...Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2017
Isn't it sad that lightweight Senator Bob Corker, who couldn't get re-elected in the Great State of Tennessee, will now fight Tax Cuts plus!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2017
Sen. Corker is the incompetent head of the Foreign Relations Committee, & look how poorly the U.S. has done. He doesn't have a clue as.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2017
...the entire World WAS laughing and taking advantage of us. People like liddle' Bob Corker have set the U.S. way back. Now we move forward!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2017
Corker took to Twitter himself to acknowledge the president’s tirade — and to ask who fell asleep on the job babysitting Trump.
Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) October 24, 2017
Corker also held no punches back, speaking to CNN’s Manu Raju about the president’s demeanor ahead of the big meeting.
Raju asked Corker directly if he thought Trump was a good role model for kids.
“No, absolutely not,” Corker responded.
Corker also said that he wouldn’t support Trump if he ran for president for a second term, expressing regret for having done so in 2016.
“Let’s just put it this way: I would not do that again,” he said.
The senator from Tennessee laid into Trump for his manipulation of facts.
Trump has “great difficulty with the truth” on many issues, Corker said, adding that, “It’s unfortunate that our nation finds itself in this place.”
He reiterated his remarks to NBC News shortly after.
Corker: "For young people to be watching... someone of this mentality as pres. of U.S. is something that I think is debasing to our country" pic.twitter.com/ogjFBKn4Fc— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 24, 2017
“It's up to others ... to try to conduct themselves in a manner that is more becoming of a leader. But he's obviously not up to that," Corker said.
It is indeed an unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in with this president. One positive outcome of the feud between Corker and Trump, however, is that it seems to be awakening more Republicans to the fact that their de facto leader is behaving like a child more than like a president.
Corker is absolutely right in his assessment of the president: He’s not a role model for children, and he doesn’t like to work with facts when he makes his case for policies. That’s a dangerous mix for a president to engage himself in, no matter which party he belongs to.