After Trump's Speech On Orlando Shooting, Tennessee's Republican Senators Show Signs Of Skepticism | Nashville Public Radio

After Trump's Speech On Orlando Shooting, Tennessee's Republican Senators Show Signs Of Skepticism

Jun 14, 2016

Tennessee's Republican senators are showing displeasure with their party's likely presidential nominee and his rhetoric — especially his response to last weekend's shooting in Orlando.

Sen. Bob Corker, who last month was floated as a potential running mate for Trump, and Sen. Lamar Alexander indicated Tuesday that the billionaire businessman doesn't yet have their full support.

Corker offered the most direct criticism, telling reporters in Washington that Trump's speech on the Orlando shooting wasn't the message a potential president should deliver after a tragedy that claimed the lives of 50 people.

In that speech, Trump reiterated his call to temporarily ban Muslim non-citizens from entering the country, and he insinuated President Obama is sympathetic to radical Islamic extremists.

Corker earlier had offered to help Trump craft his foreign policy platform. Now, he says he's "discouraged" those overtures haven't had better results in the direction of his campaign.

Alexander couched his critique by telling the Associated Press that he still does not consider the businessman to be his party's nominee. When it was pointed out that Trump seems to have the nomination sewn up, Alexander shot back, "That's what you say."

A spokesman later said in the email that Alexander anticipates supporting "the Republican nominee when we have one," but that won't be until the convention in July.

Corker and Alexander aren't the only top Republicans in Tennessee who haven't yet embraced Trump. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has said he was reserving judgment until he could meet the businessman.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the governor confirmed that meeting had finally taken place. Haslam was part of a group of governors who met with Trump at his office in New York.

The spokeswoman says they discussed state and federal issues but gave no other details.