Outgoing GOP Sen. Bob Corker says he won't oppose Democrat seeking his Senate seat

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., appears on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 19, 2018. CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination for secretary of state has so divided the Foreign Relations Committee that it might send his nomination to the full Senate without a favorable recommendation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Outgoing Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee is sticking by his decision not to campaign against the Democrat seeking to fill his seat.

Corker says he considers the Democrat, former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (BRED'-uh-sen), a "friend." Corker backs Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn but says he won't oppose Bredesen.

The Washington Post reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had privately told Corker that his friendly comments about Bredesen risked Republicans' ability to hold their majority in the November elections. Republicans hold a slim 51-49 advantage in the Senate.

Asked why Blackburn is a better candidate, Corker responded: "I think most people in our state ... will focus on the first vote she makes, and that's the vote to elect the majority leader."

Corker spoke Sunday on ABC and CNN.

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