6 months ago

Tuberville dings Trump for veterans’ health care problems, addresses ‘carpetbagger’ label, tax dodging allegations in Shoals appearances

FLORENCE — Make no mistake about it: Former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville does not hold back when something is on his mind, and Saturday morning he backed up that reputation that has followed him from his coaching career and into politics.

During an appearance before a meeting of the Shoals Republican Club, Tuberville, a candidate in the 2020 U.S. Senate election in Alabama, delivered a wide-ranging stem-winder reiterating his alignment with President Donald Trump on many issues. However, Tuberville argued there were areas where even Trump needed to be better.

The Muscle Shoals appearance was the first of a series in the area that also included stops at the Cornerstone Church of Christ in Florence with former University of Alabama standout cornerback Antonio Langham to raise money for children in Haiti and another at the Shoals Chamber of Commerce in Florence, where he fielded questions during a town hall-style event.


Near the entrance of the venue for the morning Shoals Republican Club event, someone posted a printed-out photo of Tuberville that was adjoined by the dictionary definition of the word “carpetbagger,” a label given to Tuberville by some of his opponents.

TVA Community Credit Union ‘Carpetbagger’ sign, 8/3/2019

Although he did not acknowledge the posting, he did address the “carpetbagger” label and seemed to embrace it by calling himself a “carpetbagger of this country.”

“Yes, I’m not an everyday resident of Alabama,” Tuberville said. “That’s going to be brought up. I’ve been here most of the last 20 years. I’ve had property. So, you’ll see that on TV – ‘He’s a carpetbagger.’ Yeah, I’m a carpetbagger of this country. I love this country. I love this state. I’m a carpetbagger. I pay a lot of taxes. I brag about that because I’m fortunate I’ve made a little money in my lifetime. I can do this and not take any money.”

As far as his critique of the current commander-in-chief, Tuberville focused on military veterans’ health care, primarily the problems plaguing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. However, Tuberville added a caveat to his remarks by noting he did not think Trump was getting much help.

“I’m pissed off at Donald Trump that our vets can’t get health care,” he said. “And if I ever get to see him, I’m going to tell him that. You said you were going to fix it and it ain’t fixed. And that’s who we ought to be taking care of — these young men and women. I’ve had them come up to me and cry. ‘Coach, we can’t get health care. Nobody will take care of us.’ 22 vets every day – every day are committing suicide. We can’t take care of them. We won’t take care of them. We’re paying for illegals to come over here – everything they’re getting: cell phones, health care, everything they want. That’s Donald Trump’s fault. That’s his fault. He’s got to get it done. That’s one of the most important things I think we need to do because we send young men and women over to fight for us, put their life on the line and we don’t take care of them? What are we doing? What are we doing?”

“I’m a Donald Trump guy, but there are things that he hasn’t done yet that we got to get done,” he continued. “And I think he’s had to fight every battle by himself. He can’t get to all of them because nobody is helping him. Nobody is standing up for him.”

Tuberville argued Republicans on Capitol Hill could do more and vowed to be more outspoken as a U.S. Senator. He also took aim at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who is a vocal critic of Trump.

“Sooner or later, we’re going to start sending people up there that will call the kettle black, OK?” Tuberville said. “You’re looking at one. You hear me right now – this is how I feel. I’m even going to be worse than this when I go to Washington, D.C. I’m going to be worse than this, on the Republican side as well as the Democrat side. Somebody has got to tell those Republican, ‘Hey, get a backbone or go home.’”

“Mitt Romney? You’ve got to be kidding me,” he continued. “You’ve got to be kidding me. What country are you for? What are you for? Do you stand for anything? Do you stand for anything? You know, it’s really mind-boggling.”

Immediately after speaking to the Muscle Shoals group, Tuberville departed for the Cornerstone Church of Christ fundraiser. However, Yellowhammer News was able to catch up with Tuberville after his Shoals Chamber of Commerce town hall in Florence to ask follow-up questions about his earlier remarks.

On veterans’ issues:

YH: You are pretty passionate about veterans, and you made a comment about Trump maybe not being as satisfactory in dealing with veterans’ issues. What led you to say that, and what could he do better?

TUBERVILLE: His agenda, he has pretty much tried to follow up on everything, and there’s a couple of things other than that. That’s one of them, and that’s one of the things I’m hearing across the state. They say, “Coach, we love the president, but we’ve got to have something done with the VA.” People are passionate about that. They’re not getting any help, and I don’t know where it’s going to come from.

But the thing with President Trump — he’s got his buckets full, and I can understand that. My point is he is not getting a lot of help from people that also understand the situation. They’re not standing up and speaking out. You know, he could get a lot more help from Congress. Obviously, he is not going to get a lot of help from the Democrats. But I think the Republicans can stand up and push that agenda for him and help him.

That was one of his huge stances when he was running, and I’m starting to hear from people saying, “We’re waiting for it. We’re waiting for help.” And he’s addressed a lot of the situation. He’s having to work his way through bureaucracy.

On the “carpetbagger” label:

YH: The “carpetbagger” question — you came out and said you were a carpetbagger. I don’t know if you were being literal or facetious, but talk about what you were trying to get at there.

TUBERVILLE: They don’t have a lot to come at me with because I don’t have a record of voting. All that I’m going to have a record of is where I’ve lived, where I’ve worked. Fortunately for me, when I left Auburn, I went to other places and worked. That’s what you got to do. You’ve got to get a job. But you know, I’ve had several houses, a farm in Auburn. I knew I was moving back. I chose to move back. I think that’s huge when you choose the place you want to live. And I chose Auburn. I chose Auburn to educate both my kids, most of it 1-12, then obviously college.

I’m just saying, that’s what they’re going to call me. Obviously, I am not. I am a guy that has taken jobs.

I don’t really know what the word means. I’ve just read what they’ve said, and the main thing is that I’ve lived here a majority for the last 20 years and I chose to come back — most of my friends are here. And I hope my two boys move back, so I don’t have to chase them all over the country.

YH: Do you have any idea or suspicions where that charge is coming from, or what the source of it is?

TUBERVILLE: They just know I was bouncing around for the last seven or eight years of coaching at different places. And there’s no doubt about that. I’m on record for living in Ohio and Texas and then moving back here.

Of course, I had to live in Florida when I worked for ESPN just to live next to an airport because I flew all the time. And when I gave that up, I moved back and started looking at retirement then started looking at this position when we had a Democrat elected.

YH: Some of your critics have said you lived in Florida to avoid income tax because Florida doesn’t have an income tax and Alabama does. Is there any truth to that?

TUBERVILLE: No, I don’t need the money. I don’t even know what the difference in tax is, to be honest with you. No, there’s no validity to that at all.

YH: The airport question — the Atlanta airport is what, an hour and a half from Auburn, not too far.

TUBERVILLE: This was about ten minutes, and you fly all the time. Saved a lot of time and effort. I mean, that’s a little bit different than going through that airport. I’ve done that many, many times.

On the effort to back Trump from Romney and other Republican lawmakers:

TUBERVILLE: [Trump] is trying to handle all these situations, and he’s getting zero help from the Democrats. And he’s getting a good percentage of help from the Republicans. But he could probably get more.

You know, that’s the reason I came out and said something about Mitt Romney. There are some good things he’s done. President Trump comes out and supports him. I voted for Mitt Romney when he ran for president.

To me, sometimes these guys could hold back on criticism and not say anything instead of coming out and saying something, especially about the racism deal. He’s our president. We got to back him, and if he’s not going to get backing from Republicans, he’s dang sure not going to get it from other people.

YH: Dealing with your potential future colleagues in the United States Senate, how do you view Mitch McConnell as a leader and perhaps working with Senator [Richard] Shelby, Alabama’s senior senator — do you foresee any problems given your pledge to be your own guy, and in the Senate and especially the Republican caucus, they kind of expect you to go along to get along? How do you feel about that culture there?

TUBERVILLE: You’ve got to work with all of them. The Republicans are going to have 53 or 54 senators. You’ve got to work with all of them, and I think that’s the strong point in selling myself, getting people to trust me.

I’m going to vote for the people of Alabama. I’m not going to vote for a party. I’m going to vote for what’s going to help the people here. I think we’ve gotten away from that some. I think we’ve got to vote the voice of the people, your constituents. If you do that, I think everything else will work together.

I’m not against any of those people up there. I’m a strong Trump guy. I think he needs somebody else. He’s got a lot of people, but somebody that he knows he can count on, to be a voice for him.

Now, am I going to vote for him every time? I’m not going to say that, no.

@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.

3 hours ago

Sessions hits Jones over finding impeachment case ‘compelling’ — ‘Merely repeating the partisan attacks of Congressman Adam Schiff’

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is not happy with Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

Sessions sent out a forceful response to Yellowhammer News’ reporting on Friday morning that Jones found the evidence against President Donald Trump in the impeachment trial “compelling.”

“Senator Doug Jones’ recent video appears to indicate that he is planning to vote to remove Donald Trump from the office of President of the United States. He is merely repeating the partisan attacks of Congressman Adam Schiff,” began Sessions.

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Sessions said he feels Jones is “not even attempting” to represent the people of Alabama.

Presumably, this is a reference to Jones’ openness to impeaching Trump, who sports around a 60% approval rating among the people of Alabama. It is also good political hay for Sessions to make in a Republican primary where Trump’s approval rating hovers around 90%.

“The Democrats do not allege any crime, nor do the vague charges in the articles of impeachment rise to a level that would justify the removal of our duly-elected President,” added Sessions.

Sessions this week was the subject of a much speculated-about Trump tweet that showed a poll from 2019 that had Sessions leading the field of contenders in the Republican primary.

To conclude his statement on impeachment, Sessions said, “The entire matter is being revealed as a political hit job, paid for by the taxpayers.”

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

Tuberville: ‘Trump has done more for the rights of the unborn than any other President’

After President Donald J. Trump on Friday became the first sitting president in history to address the March for Life in Washington, D.C., former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville praised Trump’s staunch pro-life stance.

Tuberville is a candidate in Alabama’s 2020 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.

Trump’s speech can be viewed below:

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Tuberville said in a statement to Yellowhammer News, “President Trump attending the March For Life Rally is a victory for all in the Pro-Life movement.”

“President Trump has done more for the rights of the unborn than any other President,” he concluded. “I’ll continue to fight for the unborn with President Trump when elected to the Senate. It’s simple: life begins at conception!”

Friday’s March for Life occurred two days after the 47th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

RELATED: Tuberville ‘all for’ abortion ban — ‘You’ve got to take your hat off to not just Alabama but other states’ on effort to overturn Roe v. Wade

One of the other featured speakers at the 2020 March for Life has a major Alabama tie.

David Platt, formerly the pastor of the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, was highlighted on the March for Life’s website as a keynote speaker. Platt made national news last year when Trump showed up to his current church in Virginia; the pastor then movingly prayed over the president on stage.

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

5 hours ago

Bama, Auburn combine for three of four SEC players in 2020 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge

The 22nd annual State Farm All-Star Football Challenge will return to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and air on ESPN2 at 8:00 p.m. CT on January 31.

The exclusive skills competition will feature 24 of college football’s brightest stars divided into six teams based on their college conference. The conferences represented are the ACC, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12, the SEC and four of the best players outside of the Power Five that will be called the “Wild Card” team.

Of the four players on the SEC team, the University of Alabama had two, Auburn had one and Vanderbilt had the fourth and final player.

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Team SEC as follows:

Nick Coe, DE, Auburn
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Terrell Lewis, LB, Alabama
Riley Neal, QB, Vanderbilt

Each player will individually participate in a timed event, and the competition will then finish with a full team event. All events will be timed and have individual winners, which will be compiled into a cumulative score to determine the winning team. For example, the quarterbacks from each team will compete against each other to win their competition. Ultimately, however, their time will be added to the times of the other competitors on their conference designated team to have a final team score.

Individual events will include the State Farm QB Accuracy Competition, the Mercedes-Benz Obstacle Course, the Rocket Mortgage Strength Challenge and the Hands Competition. To conclude the program, the players will compete as teams in the State Farm Team Competition.

Alumni of the State Farm All-Star Football Challenge include 81 first-round NFL Draft picks, including 38 Pro Bowlers, such as Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Ramsey, Dalvin Cook, Derwin James, Landon Collins, Von Miller, Vernon Davis, Joe Flacco, Dez Bryant, Donovan McNabb, Reggie Wayne and Edgerrin James.

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

5 hours ago

Alabama finishes decade with record low unemployment rate, sets more economic milestones

Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington on Friday announced that the state maintained its record low unemployment rate last month, ending 2019 with a preliminary, seasonally adjusted December unemployment rate of 2.7%, unchanged from November, and far below December 2018’s rate of 3.8%.

Multiple other economic records were again set last month, in addition to the record low unemployment rate holding steady.

In a statement, Governor Kay Ivey said, “I’m so proud to be able to close out this decade with record-breaking economic measures.”

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December’s unemployment rate, which ranked fifth-lowest in the nation, represented 2,204,740 employed people, a new record high, representing an increase of 83,971 from December 2018. Additionally, 61,458 people were counted as unemployed, another new record and a drop of 22,051 from last year. Moreover, the civilian labor force grew by 61,920 over the year to a new record high of 2,266,198.

“All year long, we’ve had good news to share, and to be able to end the year, and the decade, on such a positive note is wonderful,” the governor concluded. “Earlier this year, Alabama had never reported an unemployment rate lower than 3.0%, and now we’ve had one for the last three months! Nearly 84,000 more people have jobs now than last year. I’m excited about the path that Alabama is on, and the positive impacts this news has on our people.”

Wage and salary employment grew over the year by 46,300. Yearly gains were seen in the professional and business services sector (+15,000), the leisure and hospitality sector (+7,800) and the government sector (+6,100), among others. Over the month, gains were seen in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (+4,000), the construction sector (+700) and the professional and business services sector (+200).

“For the eleventh month in a row, our job growth has met or surpassed the nation’s,” Washington stated. “We’ve gained over 46,000 jobs since last December, and we continue to see employers posting job ads.”

Additionally, Alabama’s job growth rate for December was 2.2%. It significantly surpassed the national job growth rate of 1.4%, marking the 11th month that Alabama’s job growth rate matched or exceeded the national rate in 2019.

“Average weekly wages showed significant growth this month, registering at an all-time high,” Washington added. “Additionally, we saw many sectors and subsectors reach all-time wage highs, including manufacturing, with a monthly wage increase of $25.57, and financial activities, with a monthly wage increase of $50.78.”

Total private average weekly wages measured $875.44 in December, representing a monthly increase of $15.14.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates last month were: Shelby County at 1.8%; Marshall, Madison and Cullman Counties at 2.1%; and Tuscaloosa, St. Clair, Morgan, Limestone, Lee and Elmore Counties at 2.2%.

Counties with the highest unemployment rates were: Wilcox County at 6.8%, Clarke County at 5.5% and Greene and Lowndes Counties at 4.8%.

Major cities with the lowest unemployment rates were: Vestavia Hills at 1.4%, Homewood at 1.6% and Hoover and Northport at 1.7%.

Major cities with the highest unemployment rates were: Prichard at 5.0%, Selma at 4.9% and Bessemer at 3.7%.

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

6 hours ago

What does Trump’s tweet say about his position on the U.S. Senate race in Alabama?

After remaining silent on the GOP primary in 2020 U.S. Senate race for the state of Alabama, the President of the United States has checked in via Twitter.

But what does it mean?

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The answer to this question all depends on how you lean in the race.

Do you support former Attorney General Jeff Sessions?

Trump is happy he is leading!

Do you support former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville?

Trump is happy that Tuberville is close to Sessions (he did tweet a poll put out by a pro-Tuberville group)!

Do you support U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope)?

Trump is bringing attention to the race to get people to pay attention to all of the ads on television and radio by the Byrne campaign.

Do you support former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore?

Hey, at least Trump didn’t say he wanted Moore out of the race again.

Do you support State Representative Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs)?

Hey look, Arnold Mooney is included!

Do you support Stanley Adair?

Hi, Stanley!

Before anyone gets too excited, Trump was tweeting about a bunch of races, so maybe it means nothing.

Also, let’s remember that Trump was 0-2 in 2017. He backed then- Senator Luther Strange (R-AL) for reelection to the seat he was appointed to and he then begrudgingly backed Roy Moore. Obviously, the existence of U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) shows he was not successful in either endeavor.

Because of this, President Donald Trump should just sit this one out.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.