Sessions hosts conference call

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 19, 2020

LANETT — Former U.S., Senator and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in a runoff race with former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville for the Republican nomination for his old Senate seat. Sessions participated on a conference call Tuesday afternoon with the Chambers County Republican Club, and on Wednesday, the run-off scheduled for March was changed to July 14. He was originally expected to appear in-person but plans changed due to the coronavirus.

The winner of the GOP runoff will face Democrat incumbent Doug Jones in November.

On Thursday, Sessions made the case that Tuberville just isn’t cut out for the job of representing Alabama in the U.S. Senate.

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“To my knowledge, he has never given any money to a candidate and since he’s been running for office has never made a speech,” Sessions said. “I think I am the best one who can effectuate what we need in Alabama. We have to have someone who can protect the business interests and the farming interests in this state. I can better help President Trump with his agenda.”

“Tommy Tuberville flat out stated that he didn’t believe in tariffs,” Sessions continued. “He’s a 100 percent free trader. He has said he doesn’t approve of the president’s position on trade with China. That’s a battle we have to win. Tommy Tuberville is in favor of having foreign workers. That’s what the liberals want.”

Sessions said he was proud of an endorsement he’d received fr0m the ICE officers’ association and strongly disagreed with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on immigration.

“He said that he wouldn’t deport anyone for 100 days if he becomes president and that he wouldn’t deport anyone unless they had committed a felony. We can win this immigration battle if we stay with President Trump.”

Regardless of who wins the runoff, Sessions said it was clear Doug Jones had to go. He said that Jones had “buddied up” with liberal groups that supported the appointment of liberal judges to courts. Sessions said that the U.S. Constitution had lasted longer than any other national constitution in the world but was under threat from liberal judges who had been distorting its meaning on such issues like abortion. He said the appointment of conservative judges was making a difference at the appellate level and was close to making a difference at the Supreme Court.

The liberals, he said, “had been getting away with extremism for years” and that the courts needed judges who supported the pro-life cause.

Sessions said that because of the recommendations on social distancing he missed being around “real people” and asking them their views.

“The virus is dominating everything that’s happening today,” he said. “School closings are under way, and families are having to adjust. In some places, restaurants are take-out only.”

Sessions said he had loved representing Alabama in the U.S. Senate and would like to do it again. He said there had been times he had broken ranks with his party to do what was right.

“I was not a potted plant; I was a warrior,” he said. “One year, I spoke more than anyone else in the Senate, even (Democrat Senate leader) Harry Reid. I vote on legislation I feel is right, regardless of who proposed it.”

He said he thought things were beginning to change under Trump. He said the defeat of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, had been a good move.

“There’s no way the U.S. should have allowed that,” he said.

“It would have made us like the European Union, subjecting us to the will of other nations. I have always stood up for the people of Alabama and the U.S. and will never back down. I back fairness on trade and cutting taxes and regulations. I was the first U.S. Senator to endorse Donald Trump, and this was at a time when many people thought he was unfit to be president. I liked his positions on issues like NAFTA. I know the people of Chambers County know how such agreements can hollow out trade all over. The new agreement we have with Canada and Mexico, I believe, will be much better for our country.”

Sessions said he had one job in Washington – to represent the interests of the people of Alabama.

“When I was in the Senate, I never, never, never sold out the state of Alabama,” he said.

“I always represented our values and our principles, and I am ready to do it again. I am ready to hit the ground running as an advocate for conservative values.”

Sessions said he had much enjoyed campaigning with Trump in 2016.

“I traveled all across the U.S. with him and hardly had any time off,” he said. “I fought hard with him on border issues and on trade. China must have our market, but we don’t have to have them. We have lots of other countries we can buy from.”

Among those participating in the conference call were Lanett Mayor Kyle McCoy, State Rep. Bob Fincher, Gary Vaughn, Bo Colley and Blake Ward.

Vaughn said that Chambers County residents were being shortchanged on TV reception because of its proximity to the state line and could he help the area get programming from Alabama stations.

“We can’t get Alabama TV in Chambers County,” Vaughn said. “What can we do about this?”

“When I was growing up, we could only get TV at night,” Sessions joked, adding seriously, “This is an important issue, and we have to get it fixed. It is a monstrous problem, but I will continue to work for you on this.”

Fincher said that he had been a Republican for a long time and thanked Sessions for what he had meant to the party in the state.

“I don’t think we have ever had a better senator than you, and we are seeing all kinds of growth in the Republican Party in Alabama, and I want to thank you for that,” Fincher said.

Sessions said he was trying to get people to understand that Donald Trump was drawing more people to the Republican Party.

“We don’t need unfair environmental rules, and we need to have better federal judges,” he said. “You have to win elections to do that. Because of Donald Trump, life is getting better for everyone, not just the upper crust but for working people as well. Cutting down on immigration protects wages. We need to keep working on that and keep standing up against China. We don’t need a 100 percent free trader like Tommy Tuberville, someone who does not believe in tariffs. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 created a window of opportunity for our country, and we need to keep that window open.”