Sen. Corker pulls name from Trump VP shortlist

Leading Congressional voice on housing reform won't join presidential race

One of the leading voices in Congress on housing finance reform will not be lending his voice to the coming presidential race, at least not in an official capacity, as Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn, announced Wednesday that he is removing himself from consideration to serve as the vice presidential candidate under presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Corker, who authored the Corker-Warner Bill, which failed in the Senate last year and would have seen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wound down and replaced, told the Washington Post on Wednesday that he was in “serious consideration” to serve as Trump’s vice president, but said that he is choosing to leave that position to others who are “more suited” to the role.

From the Washington Post:

“There are people far more suited for being a candidate for vice president, and I think I’m far more suited for other types of things,” Corker said in an extensive phone interview where he repeatedly praised Trump and said he is eager to serve as an informal adviser to the candidate in the coming months.

“It’s a highly political job, and that’s not who I am,” Corker said. “We had a very open conversation about that, and actually, we have been very candid about it from the very beginning of our meetings. I left there feeling very good about him as a person but also realized that at age 63, I know the things I’m good at doing. And knowing what a candidate for vice president has to do, it’s just not the right thing for me, and I don’t think it’s the right thing for them.”

As the Washington Post also reported, in a separate article, Corker’s decision and announcement comes just one day after he spent an entire day on the campaign trail with Trump, meeting with Trump at his namesake Trump Tower in New York City.

But despite spending the full day with Trump, and being deep into the vetting process, Corker still is electing to bow out.

Again from the Washington Post:

“Yesterday tightened the bond and certainly a friendship has been created. It was a pretty remarkable day,” (Corker) said.

“I do wish people had an opportunity to visit there and see the people who work with him. They’re the kind of people I like to be associated with. You don’t get the caricature of Trump, if you will. You see he couldn’t be more of a gentleman and how he acts the same with both the most senior and the most junior people around him,” he said.

Corker’s announcement comes just days after a Yahoo Finance report from Bethany McLean alleged that both Corker and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Corker’s co-author on the failed housing finance reform bill, profited from the housing crisis.

As HousingWire’s Kelsey Ramírez recapped earlier this week, Corker and Warner have both reported millions of dollars of income from a fund they were invested in that contained Goldman Sachs products that were designed to bet against the real estate market.

For more on that story, click here.

According to the Washington Post, with Corker now out of the running for VP, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence are at the top of Trump’s VP shortlist.

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