Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville is taking a different stance on China than his Republican primary runoff competitor, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
In an appearance on Talk 99.5’s “Matt and Aunie Show” Thursday morning, Tuberville was asked about what he thought was happening with China.
He responded, “Well, we can’t worry about China right now. We’ve gotta worry about Alabama and this country.”
Experts agree that the novel coronavirus originated somewhere around the city of Wuhan in China, and the country spent several weeks trying to obscure the extent of the outbreak. There have since been significant indications that the death toll in China is higher than the country is publicly reporting.
“You know, I hear about all these people hollering for investigations and we always investigate,” commented Tuberville on Thursday, before later adding, “[Congressional committees] investigate and nothing ever comes of it, so right now we’ve gotta worry about this country. ‘Cause right now we’re in trouble.”
In tweets responding to the Tuberville interview, Sessions said, “China’s where the virus is from, and their deliberate lies hid the danger & resulted in a pandemic that never should’ve happened! We must take on China NOW and WIN, not run scared like Tommy Tuberville!”
Later in the interview, Tuberville praised President Donald Trump’s efforts to shift the United States’ economic relationship to China.
“They’re gonna be knocked to their knees, and they should be,” the former coach said.
Paul Shashy, Tuberville’s campaign manager, said in a statement to Yellowhammer News, “If Jeff Sessions was too afraid to stand up to Robert Mueller, how can we ever expect him to stand up to China? Like President Trump, Coach Tuberville believes we should focus all of our resources on ending the Coronavirus pandemic, fixing our economy, and helping the Alabamians who need help now. Once that’s done, he’ll stand with the president to hold the Chinese fully accountable, unlike Jeff Sessions, who voted with Ted Kennedy and John Kerry to reward China with permanent trade status.”
Tuberville and Sessions will face each other at the ballot box on July 14 in the Republican primary runoff.