From the News Sentinel:
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander didn’t think much of Donald Trump’s chances when the New York billionaire was making noise about running for president in 2012.
“There’s always someone like Donald Trump who has absolutely no chance of winning,” Alexander said at the time during an appearance on CNN. “He’s famous for being famous.”
Angered, Trump shot back that he didn’t know Alexander and had “heard very little about him over the years, perhaps because of a certain ineffectiveness.”
Trump decided to sit out the race that year. But fast-forward to 2016, and Trump is not only running, he has won 10 of 15 states that already have held primaries or caucuses and is the front-runner for the GOP nomination.
Alexander declined Friday to say whether he would vote for Trump if he’s the party’s nominee this fall.
“Look, the Super Bowl belongs at the end of the season, not a third of the way through,” the Maryville Republican said in statement, issued by his office in response to questions from the News Sentinel.
“There are a lot of states and a convention left to go,” Alexander said. “I have always supported the Republican ticket, but ask me that question when we have a nominee.”
Alexander has endorsed Marco Rubio of Florida, saying the Florida senator would help Republicans take back the White House and that he would be “a strong and effective” leader. Alexander appeared with Rubio at a campaign rally in Knoxville on Monday.
…In his clash with Alexander before the last presidential race, Trump said of the state’s senior senator, “As a Republican, I will not be looking for his support but think that, if I run, I will do very well in the state of Tennessee.”
Trump carried Tennessee by 14 points in the Super Tuesday election earlier this week.