Tuberville touts ‘outsider’ bona fides during Vestavia appearance — Says political system ‘made for people on the inside’
VESTAVIA HILLS — On Saturday, Republicans in Birmingham’s “Over the Mountain” communities got their first look at former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville away from the gridiron and on the stage as a politician.
While speaking to the August meeting of the Mid Alabama Republican Club at the Library in the Forest, Tuberville, a 2020 GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, made an effort to highlight his being an outsider to politics.
He explained to the group assembled what led him to seek the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, who happens to reside in nearby Mountain Brook.
“I want to make a difference,” he said. “I want to be a part of it. I am not a career politician. I am not the establishment. When I go to Washington, D.C. to vote for you, I’m not voting for a corporation. I want to tell you something – I’ve been shocked. I’m going to write a book about this. Outsiders can’t get in. It is made for people on the inside and for people that take money from the lobbyist and the establishment.”
“I started with a cell phone and myself in my house when I announced,” Tuberville continued. “I’m looking around – now what do I do because these guys I’m running against – most of them – all they do is take one job, and one comes open, ‘Man, I believe I’ll do this one.’ Go get a dang job. Go out there and see what’s happening in this country. People are hurting, folks. People are hurting.”
One area where Tuberville attempted to distinguish himself from his competition was in underscoring not having a prior career in politics. He touted the system in place in Alabama’s state legislature, which allows for lawmakers to have full-time jobs in addition to their roles as lawmakers.
“Now, I have been all over this state,” Tuberville explained. “I met with city, county commissioners, mayors – not all. I’ll get to all of them. We’ve got a great state. We got a lot of great things going on in this state. I am proud of our state representatives and some decisions that they’ve made to try to make this state better. Sometimes they make some we don’t agree with. That usually happens. But you know what? They’re not career people. They go, and they do things for a while. Then they come home. Then they go back to work.”
Tuberville said he supported term limits but suggested it was unlikely the so-called “establishment” would allow them to become a reality.
“Our Founding Fathers did not put term limits in the Constitution,” he continued. “You know why? They never dreamed anybody would want to do this for a living. They never dreamed it. They never dreamed it would be a career. You know why? Because you can make a heck of a lot more money out there in public life if you’ll go to work and get your hands dirty, and try to work with other people and make the country better, other than going and sitting behind a desk and supposedly making law for us. Think about that. They didn’t want us to go up there forever, and that’s the reason we don’t have term limits. I’m for them. Can we ever get them? I hope, but that’s yet to be seen. It gets fought by the establishment.”
Also, during his speech, Tuberville derided the system for requiring fundraising to cover expenses to go on offense or play defense against opposing candidates instead of promoting an agenda.
“This is all about career politicians,” Tuberville said. “So to get in, you’ve got to raise money. OK, that’s what I’ve been doing, and we’ve done a pretty good job taking money from the people of Alabama – people that I’m going to vote for, not from Washington, D.C. because when I go up there, I ain’t voting for them. I’m voting for you.”
“It is the craziest system I have ever seen,” he continued. “I thought we raised money because we’ve got to raise some money. OK, we’ll raise money, go out and ask people and see if they’re for us. I thought you raised money to put your agenda out there. Oh, no. That ain’t what you do. You defend yourself, or you attack the other guy. What a crazy business.”
“We’ve got a great country, and it is strong, but it’s getting weaker by the day,” Tuberville added. “But it is not caused by the people in this country. It is caused by our dang politicians. Thank goodness Donald Trump went up there and he’s up there swinging. He is swinging from the hip. He doesn’t care what they think. And they’re trying to run the clock out on him. Y’all know that.”