Ex-Sen. Bob Corker said he wasn't surprised to hear of Mitt Romney's retirement from the Senate.
"I understand why he might want to spend time doing other types of things," Corker told Politico.
Corker, who served 12 years in the Senate, said he's had no trouble adjusting to life outside.
Many former members of Congress have struggled with forging new identities outside of Capitol Hill.
Ex-Sen. Bob Corker is not one of them.
While the Tennessee Republican, who served from 2007 to 2019, told Politico that it was an "honor" to serve in the upper chamber, he remarked on the satisfaction he's had from enjoying fresh experiences.
And, upon hearing that fellow Republican Mitt Romney would not seek reelection to his Utah Senate seat in 2024, Corker said that he wasn't surprised by the lawmaker's impending departure, pointing to his record of service and the partisanship that has made bipartisan consensus more politically perilous.
Romney played a critical role in crafting the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law championed by President Joe Biden and was one of only three GOP senators who voted to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.
"[W]hen you go to Washington as a person who's accomplished a lot, and especially as a businessperson, you're there to solve problems and to make a difference," the former senator told the outlet. "I know the environment right now is not as conducive to that as it was at other times, so I understand why he might want to spend time doing other types of things."
"I mean, let's face it: There's just not a great deal of problem-solving taking place. The big problems of our nation aren't even being discussed," he continued. "When you're used to accomplishing a great deal, and when the environment is such that the real problems of our nation continue to be unaddressed, I think people like Mitt Romney decide to spend time doing other things."
Corker, the onetime chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who publically clashed with then-President Donald Trump over global affairs, also told Politico that he continues to feel energized since his retirement. The ex-lawmaker has assumed top roles in real estate, healthcare, and banking as part of his post-Senate life.
"I was 66 years old when I left, and I still get up at 4:30 in the morning feeling as active and energetic as I've ever felt — I really do," Corker said. "When I wake up in the morning, I'm ready to go and I'm excited about the work that I have before me each day."
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