As their primary runoff nears, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeated in Huntsville today attacks he’s been making statewide against Senate opponent former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville.
But Sessions added something for north Alabama voters.
Speaking a week before the runoff to reporters at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Sessions displayed his knowledge of the Huntsville area economy and said, “We’re going to protect it.” As for Tuberville, Sessions said, “I don’t hear that he’s been in Huntsville learning the great issues in this city….”
“He’s not ready for it,” Sessions said of Tuberville. “He’s not very interested in it. He’s not ready to be our senator. He’s not a Mo Brooks. He’s not a Bradley Byrne…. I’m worried about that and I want to say it firmly.”
“This is one of the greatest areas in the nation, not just Alabama,” Sessions said. “I want you to know and I want the people here to know that I understand that. I know how fabulous it is.”
Sessions talked about the area’s NASA, defense, FBI, research and automotive jobs. He said he has the support of the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Huntsville).
Sessions also said he has met with more than 100 laid-off TVA workers whose job are being “outsourced under the H1B foreign visa work program.”
“Don’t we need to tell TVA, ‘You will not outsource your jobs to foreign workers and outside the Tennessee Valley,’” Sessions said. “What in the world do you think of when you do such a thing as that?”
Sessions repeated his charge that Tuberville is hiding from state media and voters to avoid questions Sessions has raised about his financial dealings and that handling of an Auburn football player “who abused, violated a 15-year-old girl visiting her sister on campus.”
Tuberville gave the player a one-game suspension, and Sessions said, “I’m not sure that sent the message that needed to be sent about young girls.” Tuberville’s campaign has said that “doctors tell players when they’re physically read to play and the police department tells me when football players are ready to play,” Sessions said. “That’s not the way coaches I know operate. They have standards for their players.”
Sessions also hit Tuberville again on his partnership in a hedge fund that “went bad quickly.” He said, “Money was looted.”
Tuberville’s partner went to prison, Sessions said, but Tuberville did not. “He had no business establishing a hedge fund,” Sessions said. “Goodness gracious. It says to me he was either naïve and greedy or he was in on a criminal activity from the beginning. I would think it’s time for Mr. Tuberville to answer questions about it. You think (Democratic Sen.) Doug Jones wouldn’t ask those questions if Tuberville wins the primary?”
Tuberville was sued by investors, Sessions said, and he settled requiring those investors to sign non-disclosure agreements about the settlement. “I’m asking him to release them from that,” Sessions said, and Tuberville should explain the case to voters.
While at the space center, Sessions toured its Space Camp program that has been scaled back by the coronavirus epidemic. “They’ve not been able to obtain the support you would normally hope to get through this (federal) CARES Act,” Sessions said, “and it’s something we need to focus on. We do not need Space Camp weakened or lost as a result of this pandemic.”
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