Corker talks foreign policy, Presidential election

Published 10:48 am Thursday, August 4, 2016

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye   Local resident Michael Warren speaks with U.S. Sen. Bob Corker during a luncheon on Wednesday.

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye Local resident Michael Warren speaks with U.S. Sen. Bob Corker during a luncheon on Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker stopped in Elizabethton on Wednesday as part of a 31-county tour across the state he is making while Congress is in their August recess.
Corker spoke with local residents and officials at a luncheon hosted Wednesday by the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Elizabethton.
“Being back home and getting to meet with people is a privilege,” Corker said. “I wish so many of the great principals we use here in our state would carry over to Washington.
Among his duties in the Senate, Corker serves as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, so understandably part of his talk, as well as some of the questions asked of the Senator, centered around the U.S. relationships with other countries.
“While we certainly don’t need to be the world’s policemen, that is an inappropriate role for our nation, we do need to be leaders,” Corker said. “We are by far the greatest nation on earth.”
Corker also spoke against the controversial nuclear agreement which President Barack Obama reached with Iran and Congress tried unsuccessfully to undo.
The agreement allows Iran to conduct research into equipment and methods that will allow them to increase their production of bombs, Corker said, adding the deal also restricts sanctions the U.S. can put into place if Iran breaches the terms of the agreement and shifted leverage to Iran.
“I just can’t imagine negotiating a deal like that,” Corker said. “To me, we had our boot on their neck — I know that is a crass way of putting it —but then we let up and they went right back to doing what they were doing before.”
“They are the greatest state sponsor of terror in the world and there are huge human rights violations there,” he added.
However, Corker said the deal negotiated by Obama was not an actual treaty and will not be non-binding on the next president to retain the agreement.
“After the election that may be something we revisit,” Corker said. It’s going to be very difficult to put the sanctions structure we had before back into place.”
Corker also address concerns regarding missile testing by North Korea and that country’s leadership.
“The leader, the dictator, of North Korea is a guy who is immature and unstable and is acting in a way that destabilizes that area,” Corker said, adding he feels China the nation that needs to address the concerns with North Korea . “We’re doing everything we can to push China into dealing with North Korea.”
Corker also offered some of his thoughts on the upcoming Presidential election and his hopes for the remainder of the campaign process.
“It turned out a lot different than many of us envisioned it would a year ago,” Corker said of the election. “I hope the two candidates will lay out a clear plan for us as a nation.”
One thing he hopes to hear the candidates discuss as the campaigns continue is a plan for dealing with the nation’s debt, which he said has reached “19 Trillion and counting.” The debt owed by the U.S., both internally and to other nations, has greatly increased over the past eight years, Corker said.
“I thin it’s the number one threat to our nation, a bigger threat than even ISIS is,” Corker said. “My guess is neither one of the candidates will address a solution to that problem because you can’t address it without sacrifices and that does not win votes.”
As November approaches, it is not just the American public who will be watching the campaigns develop, Corker said.
“I’ll bet you people in Europe and people in the Far East are paying as much attention as you are because the policies that will be put into place will have far reaching effects,” Corker said.

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