EXIT INTERVIEW: Sen. Bob Corker reflects back before stepping away.

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) looks back before stepping away.

In a one-on-one interview, we asked what he's thinking about as his 12-year Congressional career draws to a close.

“Mostly the things that we’ve been able to do together," he said, "that matter, not just by the way to Tennessee and our country, but to the world.” “It’s been a great privilege to be here,” he added.

Kyle Midura – Washington Correspondent: “What expectations did you come into the job with about how this [Congress] operates, and what was the biggest surprise for you?”

BC: “I had no idea what Washington was like.”

“On one hand, it can be frustrating because it takes so much effort to pass a piece of legislation, especially in the atmosphere we’re in today. On the other hand, you probably don’t want government to move too quickly on things.”

“I quickly realized, that if you mastered a few things, and became the expert on those, that you could make a difference here.”

KM: “What are the issues you’re proudest of getting to the finish line, given how difficult that is?”

BC: “I was really proud of the role I played in the financial crisis.”

“Thankful for the role I was able to play in [saving auto companies],” “the end modern slavery initiative,” “proud of the food aid reform,” “Electrify Africa.”

“All of the things we did to make sure whatever aid we put in place around the world we do so much more effectively.”

KM: “What are the issues that you put your blood, sweat, and tears into that keep you up at night?”

BC: “Immigration, I wish we had resolved [it].”

“You know, it’s a political football, both sides use. Both sides are using it now as we speak."

“I thought we had a tremendous opportunity after dealing with the financial crisis to deal with the [U.S. debt and deficit].”

“And it’s going to take presidential leadership for that to happen, and let’s face it, that’s an unpopular thing to talk about”

Sen. Corker’s replacement – Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) – will be sworn-in along with all the other new members on January 3rd.

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