Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) is raising eyebrows again with his ambivalence towards representing the views of the majority of his constituents, saying, “I’m just going to do what I think is the right thing.”
He has previously stated, to significant pushback, that representing the majority of Alabamians is not “the be all to end all.” In his wide-ranging interview on Reckon Radio, Jones discussed this and much more.
In the third Yellowhammer News article looking at Jones’ podcast (you can read the first on Jones’ re-election bid here and the second on Jones’ thoughts on Trump, modern political rhetoric and the book Jones is releasing in a few months here), we also look at a new claim Jones made regarding his vote against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, as well as Jones’ assertion that he is not for “gun control,” just more gun regulations.
“A popularity contest”
When asked by host John Hammontree how Jones tries to reconcile his liberal leanings with his conservative constituency, Jones outlined his decision making process.
“I’m just going to do what I think is the right thing and explain my decisions,” Alabama’s junior senator advised.
“We have access to a ton of information,” Jones explained. “I mean we – our staff – I’ve got a really rockstar staff, they do an incredible job on so many issues, they brief me with details. We get down into the minutiae, so that every decision I make is going to be a decision that I think is consistent with what I believe is in the best interest of the people in this state.”
He also said that his decisions would not be “based on a popularity contest.”
Jones added, “People may accept [my decisions] or they may not, sometimes they do not simply because of political considerations.”
A new Kavanaugh claim
Jones also reminisced on what he is most known for in the United States Senate – voting against the Kavanaugh confirmation.
To begin, Jones echoed his normal complaints about it being “a flawed process” and how politicized the confirmation was.
However, he then turned heads with a new claim that he had not made before publicly.
“I’ve seen documents [in the confirmation process] that are confidential, that, for whatever reason, they won’t be made public for a long, long time,” Jones asserted.
He then told Hammontree he was not referring to the FBI report, but documents from Kavanaugh’s White House tenure that came “before that” in the process, even prior to the initial public hearing the first week of September.
“I didn’t understand why they weren’t being released, but I was very concerned going into that hearing – or coming out of his first hearing – that he had not been truthful with the committee on a number of really key points,” Jones said.
He added, simply leaving the allegation out there, “Unfortunately, I really can’t discuss those.”
“There is a difference”
When Hammontree, later in the interview, brought up that Jones’ maiden speech on the Senate floor was on gun control and asked what gun regulations he is in favor of, Jones pushed back.
“Well, let me correct you – and this is part of the problem, John, with the media and others,” Jones responded. “I didn’t make a speech about gun control. I made a speech about gun safety.”
Jones said he believes that “there is a difference.”
He then proceeded to explain the history of gun regulations in America, going back to “gangsters with Tommy guns,” and confirm that he is indeed supportive of increased gun regulations.
“What I think is important is that we have some common sense regulations to address gun safety,” Jones summarized.
It is still unclear how this is not gun control, which is simply the regulation of gun manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification or use.
In the January speech in question, Jones even used the term “gun control.”
“So while I know that guns and gun control are difficult issues for this country, I can tell you they’re complicated for me, too. But as a United States Senator today, a member of the legislative branch of government, I have many obligations. And I believe that the first obligation of government is to protect its citizens,” Jones said.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn