1 year ago

Doug Jones: Trump is ‘the offender in chief’

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) is doubling down on his harshest criticisms of President Donald Trump while also announcing that he has no plans to run against the president in 2020.

However, in his interview on Reckon Radio, Jones did reveal who his preferred Democratic choice is to beat Trump.

In the second Yellowhammer News article looking at Jones’ wide-ranging interview (you can read the first on Jones’ re-election bid here), we look at this, as well as Jones’ thoughts on Trump, modern political rhetoric and the book Jones is releasing in a few months.

Trump

When it comes to Trump, Jones admitted that Trump has done some good things, but hedged by calling even these accomplishments “a mixed bag.”

Jones told host John Hammontree, “I think it’s a mixed bag right now because he has done some things primarily through regulation that a lot of businesses and folks like. Some of them, I think, were good. Some of them, I think he went too far.”

Jones then took a swipe at the president, saying that Trump has “divided this country a lot.”

“The biggest problem I see right now is that the president simply uses his Twitter account and says things that are simply not true. And he uses that as a weapon for political reasons. And he’s really divided this country a lot,” Jones outlined.

He continued, “And the interesting thing about that is I think as much as any president that I’ve seen in a long time, he has the ability to bring the country together if he would just do it. But I’m afraid he is continuing to just try and divide people along racial lines, along economic lines, any number of things that he really doesn’t have to do.”

The junior senator from Alabama then used one of his favorite phrases to double back and say the president has not actually done much, forgetting to mention that he needs 60 votes to pass things through the Senate.

“I think that it’s going to be interesting, he’s had both houses of Congress, but yet there’s not a lot except the tax bill, which is a mixed bag for America, it’s not the be all to end all, it’s a mixed bag,” Jones asserted. “There’s not a lot of legislative accomplishments that he’s been able to do.”

Now, Jones believes Trump can either compromise with Democrats in the interest of “progress” or else he “can continue to try to polarize the country.”

Jones advised that unless the president gives ground to Democrats, they will not let much through Congress.

“But if he’s willing to talk to us, we can do a lot of things. We can get immigration reform, we might can get some good gun sense policy that will help reduce the number of deaths in this country,” Jones said.

Rhetoric (and more on Trump)

Later in the interview, Jones doubled down on a previous assertion he made that Trump’s rhetoric reminded him of George Wallace, putting it in the specific context of bombs being recently sent to leading Democratic and media figures.

“It speaks for itself, you know we come from a state and, don’t forget, right before those bombs were found, there were two African Americans killed in Kentucky where a guy tried to get into a church, went across the street to a grocery store … I think rhetoric like what we have seen, particularly from the [Trump] administration, is very dangerous,” Jones told Hammontree.

Jones continued, “In this state, we have seen words matter. And words have consequences. In my view, and I’ve studied the Civil Rights Movement an awful lot, as you know, and what I saw were political leaders in this state – Wallace and Bull Connor in particular – that in effect empowered people like the Klan and others to just have their way and do the things that resulted in four deaths in a church. It resulted in the deaths of two children, two black boys, that same day. Other bombs being planted.”

Jones then called Trump “the Offender in Chief of this rhetoric,” adding that his recent comments on the caravan traveling from Central America were the latest example.

The junior senator afterward admitted that Trump was not the sole “offender” in his view, as Democratic congressmen (like Maxine Waters) from across the country have encouraged supporters to harass Republicans.

“We need to dial back this rhetoric,” Jones said.

“But it really starts with the American public, as well,” he added.

Jones’ book, not running for president and who he will support

Jones went on to discuss his upcoming book, “Bending Toward Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing that Changed the Course of Civil Rights,” that will be released in March (not January as originally scheduled).

“It’s a play on Dr. King’s words that the arc of the [moral] universe is long but it bends towards justice,” Jones explained. “It is primarily a memoir about the church bombing cases.”

It traces Jones’ upbringing in metro Birmingham, through college and his professional career as a prosecutor.

In the book, he uses this famous prosecution to segue into a “little bit about the campaign and the election and just kind of the state of politics in general.”

Jones then said, 2019 book aside, he “has no plans” to run for president in the 2020 cycle.

While laughing, he said, “There is nothing like that on my radar.”

Jones advised that he sees the 2020 Democratic primary field being “wide open,” but that he would tend to support his old friend, former Vice President Joe Biden, over anyone else who may run.

“He’s just an amazing man,” Jones emphasized. “He’s an incredible and gifted public servant.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

31 mins ago

Doug Jones: Jeff Sessions’ recusal ‘about the only thing I think he did right as attorney general’

As the race for the Republican Party’s nomination for Alabama U.S. Senate race has heated up, the topic of then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from any investigation dealing with the 2016 presidential election has become the hot campaign topic.

At a Marshall County campaign stop earlier this month, Sessions defended his decision on the recusal, noting that it was following the Department of Justice rules and procedures. However, since then, both U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) and former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, two of Sessions’ opponents in the GOP senatorial nomination contest, have both raised the issue in the context of Sessions’ ability to serve as a U.S. Senator.

Incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), who will be the opponent in the November general election for the eventual Republican nominee, disagreed with Byrne and Tuberville.

184

Jones, also a former U.S. attorney during the Clinton administration, categorized Sessions’ recusal as “about the only thing” Sessions did properly during his service as the Trump administration’s top law enforcement official.

“I do,” Jones replied. “It’s about the only thing I think he did right as attorney general. But he absolutely did that correctly. I’ve been a DoJ person myself. I was in the position of U.S. attorney, and I think he had to do that. I think it was the right thing to do. And I said that at the time, by the way. This is not something new. I said that at the time.”

“We’ll see who ends up being the nominee,” he continued. “But there will be plenty to talk about — about Jeff’s record if he ends up being the nominee. But that is one thing he and I will both agree on.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

56 mins ago

Huntsville International named nation’s best small airport

Huntsville International Airport on Friday was announced as the USA Today Readers’ Choice Best Small Airport of 2020.

A panel of experts picked the top 20 small airports in the United States to contend for this honor, and voting members of the public from around the United States chose Huntsville International as the nation’s best.

“We are ecstatic that Huntsville International Airport has been chosen by voters as North America’s best small airport for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards,” Rick Tucker, CEO of Huntsville International Airport, said in a statement. “We are so grateful to our community for supporting HSV by voting. We share this honor with them and will continue to work hard to provide North Alabama and Southern Tennessee residents with even more great options at their local airport.”

97

Yellowhammer News previously reported that the USA Today experts described Huntsville International as “small and easy to navigate, with an onsite hotel and a nice range of food and beverage options for an airport of its size.”

“Delta, American, United, Silver Airways and Frontier all fly into this small Alabama airport with nonstop service to 10 major destinations across the country,” they advised.

RELATED: Huntsville’s economic future is tied to our airport’s success

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 hours ago

Alabama workforce development program recognized as one of nation’s best, will now mentor other states

The National Governor’s Association on Thursday announced Alabama would be among a choice group of states that will mentor other states in work-based learning practices.

“Alabama is excited to participate as a mentor state in the third phase of the NGA’s work-based learning Policy Academy due to the remarkable results of our participation in Phase II of the Policy Academy,” said Governor Kay Ivey.

The five other mentor states in the program are Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington.

149

The type of programs that will be worked on between Alabama and other states align with Ivey’s Success Plus initiative. Success Plus is a comprehensive effort to get Alabamians whatever post-high school education they need to be prepared for the workforce, no matter if that is a four-year degree, two-year degree or professional certification.

The specific aspects of Sucess Plus in which Alabama will mentor other states are the work-based learning such as apprenticeships and internships.

“This selection by the National Governors Association is a solid indication of Alabama’s commitment to increasing the state’s labor participation rate through the AlabamaWorks initiative,” said Ed Castile, deputy secretary for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Across the state, we are working with business and industry to expand our efforts in preparing a well-trained, high-skilled, quality workforce,” he added.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

4 hours ago

How you can meet Jalen Hurts, other Senior Bowl players on Friday

MOBILE — With the Senior Bowl only one day away, Friday will feature a trio of free events for fans to attend in downtown Mobile.

These events follow the Senior Bowl Summit, which occurred Thursday night and was presented by Alabama Power Company and Regions Bank.

The first event for fans on Friday will be the Senior Bowl Experience, presented by Alabama Power. Hosted at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, this 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CT event will feature a bevy of games and activities for all ages.

230

The Senior Bowl Experience will also include “Meet the Players,” presented by Coca-Cola.

“Tackle the obstacle course, time your 40yd dash, dance with NFL cheerleaders, take your picture with college mascots, and meet your favorite college all-stars from across the country at the Senior Bowl Experience inside the Mobile Convention Center,” the Senior Bowl wrote about the event.

The Senior Bowl stated that their clear bag policy will be in effect for the Senior Bowl Experience.

Following the Senior Bowl Experience will be the Senior Bowl Street Party and inaugural Mardi Gras Player Parade, presented by Wind Creek Casino and Austal USA. At 6:30 p.m., the parade will begin in front of the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel. You can view the route here.

“Downtown bars and restaurants will provide specials and craft cocktails reflecting Senior Bowl Week,” the Senior Bowl outlined. “Local High School Bands will lead our players (in their college jerseys), college mascots, local dignitaries, NFL cheerleaders, as we throw candy, beads, and footballs to the crowd.”

Finally, when the the Senior Bowl Street Party and inaugural Mardi Gras Player Parade ends at Cathedral Square, a free concert featuring The Revivalists will begin.

You can still get tickets for Saturday’s game, which is at 1:30 p.m. CT, here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

5 hours ago

7 Things: Trump loves Alabama, impeachment limps along, driver in Rod Bramblett’s death indicted for manslaughter and more …

7. Some seem to want paroles sped up

  • After it was found that the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles was not following its own rules, pardons were stopped and then slowed. Now, some lawmakers seem to want that process to speed up, but the current leader doesn’t seem so keen on that idea, even though it isn’t his role.
  • When Director Charlie Graddick spoke to lawmakers Thursday, Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) and Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) questioned the policy changes and the slowdown in paroles.

6. Alabama teen kills three family members and then goes to school

572

  • Landon Hudson Durham, a 16-year-old high school student, has been charged with capital murder in the stabbing deaths of his mother and his own two 13-year-old twin brothers before going to school as if nothing happened.
  • The bodies were found on Tuesday by a family member, but Durham wasn’t found until Wednesday morning after a member of law enforcement saw him walking on a state road. He was taken into custody without incident.

5. Free stuff for everyone doesn’t appeal to everyone

  • U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has made headlines multiple times for her plan to cancel student debt up to $50,000 for those making less than $100,000 per year if she’s elected president, but she was recently confronted by a voter for her plan that would cause a lot of students to get “screwed.”
  • The voter described how his daughter is currently in college, and that she doesn’t have student loans because he saved up to pay for her college and he asked if he’d get a refund, but Warren replied, “Of course not.” The father then said, “So you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money and those of us who did the right thing get screwed?”

4. Trump’s pro-life coalition

  • Friday, President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is planning to reveal a pro-life coalition. The “Pro-Life Voices for Trump” will be led by Marjorie Dannenfelser, who stated, “From appointing pro-life judges to defunding Planned Parenthood, President Trump’s track record demonstrates he’s the most pro-life President in history.”
  • Trump is aiming to make the pro-life movement a huge issue in his campaign as another way to rally voters and encourage people to vote in the 2020 election, focusing on his changes to the courts that could clear the way to overturn Roe v. Wade.

3. Teen in Bramblett case has been indicted

  • Johnston Edward Taylor, 16, has been indicted for manslaughter by a Lee County judge for the wreck that killed the Voice of the Auburn Tigers Rod Bramblett and his wife, Paula.
  • Taylor’s bond in the case was previously revoked after two additional speeding tickets and one for reckless driving. His arraignment is scheduled for January 31; his trial is set to start on May 4.

2. No one is watching impeachment — everyone is already decided

  • As the boring and unwatched impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate continues, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) has brought even more absurd comments to the spotlight by claiming that President Donald Trump’s conduct “puts even President Nixon to shame.”
  • Even as the theatrical histrionics continue on the floor of the Senate, it is becoming increasingly clear that there will be no witness or documents added to the trial and that it will probably be over some time next week.

1. Trump vague about Alabama’s U.S. Senate race

  • President Donald Trump tweeted out polling stats from the Alabama Farmers Federation, which showed former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions leading at 35%, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville at 31%, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) at 12%, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore at 8% and State Representative Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) at 1%.
  • While the polling data is about two months old, Trump added in the tweet, “I LOVE ALABAMA!” Sessions’ campaign manager Jon Jones said that this shows “Republican voters in Alabama solidly back Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate race.”