Helping kick off the National Rifle Association’s three-day annual conference Friday, Bob Corker told the crowd of thousands from across the country gathered at Nashville’s sprawling Music City Center that he’s confident his support for gun rights is beyond reproach.
“I don’t have to tout my Second Amendment record, I have a record to prove it,” said Tennessee’s junior United States senator. “I don’t have to tout it, OK.”
Corker was at one time hinting he might make a run at the White House himself, but decided against it. For that reason, Corker told the NRA crowd, he expected to be “the most relaxed public official that will address you.”
And instead of talking about gun rights, Corker spent the bulk of his five minute speech touting his top political priorities of the moment: Preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and arming the Republican Party with a presidential candidate who’ll win the White House in 2016.
Corker indicated that both issues will be central targets of his attention over the year ahead.
The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker said he wants to see “a negotiated agreement” with Iran “that will stand the test of time and ensure that the greatest exporter of terrorism does not get a nuclear weapon.”
Iran asserts that its nuclear program is only for energy, not arms.
Corker then praised the 10 or so GOP presidential candidates in attendance at the convention for understanding “the best way for peace is through strength — security through strength.”
“All of them know that — they are all good people,” said Corker.
Notably absent from the Republican presidential candidate speakers’ lineup at the NRA confab is Rand Paul, the United States senator from Kentucky who announced his bid this week.
“I am thrilled with the talent the commitment the principles that these candidates all stand on, and you will help decide which one of these will be out presidential nominee on the Republican side,” said Corker. “I just ask that as you go through this process and as we together decide which of them is the best nominee, that when that is over, we all together will absolutely assure that the next person who to occupy the White House in 2016 is a Republican.”