Tuberville on Senate campaign: ‘When people are coming at you, you’re doing pretty good’
Former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville on Tuesday interviewed with Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie” show, discussing his 2020 Republican candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Alabama and some of the recent headlines that have stemmed from his campaign.
Some of the issues that Tuberville touched on included requests to see his driver license, as well as his highly publicized comments regarding veterans’ healthcare that led to criticism from some of his GOP opponents.
“Well, first of all, you know when people are coming at you, you’re doing pretty good,” Tuberville told cohost Matt Murphy. “And our campaign’s getting stronger and stronger.”
Tuberville then hinted that his candor could occasionally land him in hot water on the campaign trail.
“You know, I’ve never done this for a living, I just go out and speak my peace,” he said. “Sometimes, I probably get a little over-zealous, because I’m passionate about this state and country. I mean, that’s the reason I’m running. I don’t have to have this job. But I’m running against guys that are career politicians — they’re establishment. And they’re ruining this country.”
The former football coach then directly addressed the comments he made regarding President Donald Trump and veterans in Muscle Shoals two weekends ago.
He said his thoughts came from the “listening tour” that he has been on around the Yellowhammer State.
“I’ve been doing less talking and more listening, because I want to find out what people need,” Tuberville advised. “I’m not going up there (to Washington, D.C.) representing them and not knowing what they need.”
He added that in the week leading up to that Shoals speech, he had been consistently hearing from veterans who expressed dire issues with the VA healthcare system, which was the point he was trying to convey during his remarks that day.
“You know, my dad died in the military, and I am very passionate towards the vets and the military,” Tuberville noted.
He then reiterated that “there’s nobody that’s done anything more for our vets or military than President Trump in the last 50 years.”
“He loves them, he’s trying to help them, but he has got a full plate,” Tuberville continued. “And I got up there (during the Shoals speech), and said, ‘Listen, I’d like to talk to President Trump about this. He really doesn’t know what’s going on. He’s turning it over to assistants, which is Congress, and they don’t do a dang thing other than try to get votes.’ Now, they’re on a two-month vacation. He gets more done when he’s up there by himself than when Congress is in session. So I said, ‘Listen, I’d like to talk to him. The vets are hurting in this state. We’ve got to have help for them. I mean, they’re dying. It’s immediate. We’ve got to have help.’ And he’s trying. But he doesn’t have help from Congress… so that’s kind of the direction I was going in.”
He also reaffirmed that he is “120% behind President Trump on everything he is doing.”
“[H]e has saved this country,” Tuberville added. “He has saved us, folks. He has saved this country, and we have got to get him back reelected.”
Tuberville dismissed attempts from political opponents to claim he is not a Trump supporter.
“Look, if that’s all they got — please, come on. Keep coming,” he remarked.
To the chuckles of the show cohosts, Tuberville then added that he wishes to see more of his primary opponents on the campaign trail instead of trying to raise money.
“Better get out there, because I’m getting votes, and I’d like this thing to be a little bit competitive. Right now, it’s not even competitive,” Tuberville quipped.
Co-host Andrea Lindenberg then asked him to address last week’s campaign trail spectacle in which someone asked to see Tuberville’s driver license, as his state of residence has become a seeming point of contention.
“Do y’all think I’m stupid, really?” Tuberville responded, clarifying that he was not referring to the show hosts with “y’all.”
“It’s absolutely amazing,” he continued. “You know, wherever I go, all my [opponents] send these kids in with cameras to shoot everything I talk about. Maybe they can get a word or two that I say that’s probably out of context. Because let me tell you something: I’m not going to be politically correct. And I’m tired of this double standard.”
He explained that the individual who asked him for his license was one of these “trackers” who has been attending his events in different places.
Tuberville said he does not use trackers for his campaign.
“[B]ecause I could care less what these people say, you know that I’m running against,” he advised. Later on, Tuberville said it was a tried and true tactic of “career politicians” to try tearing down their opponents because they themselves have no accomplishments to run on. He suggested his opponents focus on their own campaigns rather than his.
Between the pressing issues facing Alabama, including healthcare, broadband access, veterans’ problems, supporting law enforcement and agriculture, Tuberville also stated it was “amazing” that people are worried about his driver license.
He then explained that he does in fact have an Alabama driver license, telling the story of how he was pulled over recently by a police officer who reportedly wound up saying he was voting for him.
Later in the interview, Tuberville steered the focus to the Alabama GOP’s ultimate priority: defeating incumbent Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in the general election.
“We’ve got to get the Democrat out — socialist. He, for the majority of the people of this state, doesn’t represent [them] and hasn’t even tried to do so since he’s been in there,” Tuberville stressed. “President Trump’s gotta have help. He’s got to have huge help, and it’s got to be in the Senate.”
He expressed tremendous optimism with his chances of emerging from the primary victorious.
“I’m running away with this race,” Tuberville emphasized.
Listen to the full interview:
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn