Corker: Tough on Forrest, Soft on Trump

Two days after a group of Tennesseans joined with a handful of lawmakers to demand the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in the State Capitol, U.S. Senator Bob Corker said he didn’t believe the monument belonged in a place of honor.

The Chattanooga Times-Free Press reported on Corker’s remarks:

“This is a state issue and not something that I am involved in, but if I were in the General Assembly, I would vote to remove his bust from the actual Capitol where our ideals of a state are debated,” Corker said. “I would support removing those type of historic symbols that are contentious to our people and putting them in museums, not in places where our ideals are lifted up.”

While Corker was clear and direct in terms of his support for removing the Forrest statue, he refused to directly challenge President Trump for statements Trump made defending Nazis following the recent terrorism in Charlottesville.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports:

“I did not see them (Trump’s comments),” he said. “I don’t see a lot of television, I apologize … look, I respond in my own way. My comments are the ones I focus on and I think the media does a plenty good job and has plenty of panelists on and others giving editorial comment about other peoples’ comments and mine.

“Look, I let the president’s comments speak for themselves. There are plenty of people who editorialize about those. I’m responsible for my comments and how I feel and people editorialize about those too … I mean I don’t know what ginned up the event in Charlottesville except that there was a lot of hate on display there. Again, certainly it needs to end.

“I just don’t want to get into trying to compare. I have no desire to give a balancing comment. I thought what was on display with the white supremacists and the KKK and others was, to me, reprehensible.”

While Corker’s comments regarding Forrest are commendable, Tennesseans also expect their U.S. Senators to stand up and speak out when a President of either party is wrong. What happened in Charlottesville was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. That President Trump found a way to defend the Nazis is reprehensible. Bob Corker showed he can lead when asked about Nathan Forrest. He needs to be willing to take on President Trump as well.

For more on politics and government in Tennessee, follow @TNCitizenAction



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