Blackburn: I’ve Fought ‘Against the Establishment All of My Political Life’

Congresswoman takes populist mantle in Tennessee, slams GOP senators for acting like 'kids playing in the sandbox'

by Kathryn Blackhurst | Updated 11 Oct 2017 at 12:25 PM

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said that President Donald Trump “would win” against his outgoing critic, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), in a hypothetical 2020 presidential primary, during an interview Wednesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

Blackburn announced Thursday that she will be running for Corker’s seat after he announced he would not be running for re-election in 2018.  Trump and Corker have been engaged in a nasty feud in recent days. Corker slammed Trump in a Sunday tweet, claiming that the White House had become “an adult day care center.” Later on Sunday evening, Corker warned that the president is leading the country “on the path to World War III.”

But when LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham asked Blackburn who would win in a 2020 presidential primary matchup, Blackburn said there could only be one result.

"Donald Trump would win. He has an 82 percent favorable rating in my district," she said. "People are sick of the pettiness. They want to see the House and the Senate work with this president to get things across the finish line and signed into law."

"I say, it is time for us to set aside — set aside personal differences. It is time for everyone, all these Republicans in the Senate and the House to look at the president and say, 'Mr. President, you were elected to fulfill promises and to push this agenda. And it is imperative that we stand together with you and we get this job done,'" the Tennessee congresswoman continued. "The American people are hurting. They are hurting a lot. Some of them tell me they are hanging on by a thread."

Blackburn expressed her frustration with Establishment Republicans who claim that Trump and the conservative populism he represents do not belong anywhere near the GOP.

"And people say, 'Well, you know that populist isn't Republican.' And I say, 'You're absolutely wrong about that,'" she said. "It is totally Republican because these are hardworking men and women, and they have had it with elitism and they have had it with people that do not do their job, and they have had it with their taxpayer dollars being wasted."

"I am standing with the president. I stand with President Trump on getting this agenda through. And that is where I am. I think he's exactly right. People are so sick of the swamp. They want Congress to get something done," Blackburn added. "And Laura, we have got to get his agenda through."

Noting that she is a "hardcore card-carrying Tennessee conservative," she said that she has been "fighting against the Establishment all of my political life." The Tennessee congresswoman also expressed her constituents' frustration with a GOP-led Congress that has been stonewalling the president's agenda and refusing to unify in support of the key promises upon which Trump campaigned so successfully in 2016.

Blackburn said her constituents have been continually asking her questions such as, "What are you going to do about tax reform? Why won't the Senate start acting like adults and get something done? What is wrong with the U.S. Senate? … Why won't they pass health care? The insurance cost is killing us. Why won't they do tax reform? ... Do they have the courage to come to the table and do tax reform?"

"These senators stand like kids playing in the sandbox, and they get mad and they say, 'I'm going to take all my toys and I'm going to go home,'" she continued. "And the American people expect better than this. They sent a message when they elected Donald Trump, and they said, 'We want you to get rid of Obamacare, we want you to give us some tax relief, we want you to build a wall.'"

It is absolutely "imperative," Blackburn said, that Congress clean up the "mess" it made after Trump successfully pulled back the curtain and exposed the deep harm that members of the political Establishment have caused for decades.

"What we as Congress have to do is work with him. Nothing is going to be achieved if Congress is fighting one another and fighting the president, Laura. That is no way to advance a conservative agenda," Blackburn said. "And people feel like they have entrusted us to get some things done to make this nation safe, to provide for our men and women in uniform and to address health care, to address tax reform. And they are sitting there waiting for us to deliver, and time's a'wasting, as we say."

"But what we have to do is say America deserves better than this. Freedom and freedom's cause deserves our very best effort," she added. "And it's going to take standing up to the swamp, that is going to take standing up to the liberal media, and it's going to take more victories."

(photo credit, homepage image: Marsha Blackburn, CC-BY 2.0, by Gage Skidmore; Marsha Blackburn, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)

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