Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, a Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, said this weekend that he’s “pissed off” at President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE for not doing more to address health care for veterans.
“I’m pissed off at Donald Trump that our vets can’t get health care,” Tuberville said, according to the Alabama politics website Yellowhammer. “And if I ever get to see him, I’m going to tell him that. You said you were going to fix it and it ain’t fixed.”
In 2018, Trump signed a law overhauling how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) allows patients to seek outside care.
The law makes it easier for veterans to access private health care programs, but there has been frustration in some quarters with the slow implementation of the law.
“We won’t take care of them,” Tuberville added. “We’re paying for illegals to come over here – everything they’re getting: cell phones, health care, everything they want. That’s Donald Trump’s fault. That’s his fault. He’s got to get it done. That’s one of the most important things I think we need to do because we send young men and women over to fight for us, put their life on the line and we don’t take care of them? What are we doing?”
Tuberville, who also coached at other colleges including the University of Cincinnati, later sought to soften his remarks about Trump, saying that the president has been hamstrung by a lack of support in Washington.
“I’m a Donald Trump guy, but there are things that he hasn’t done yet that we got to get done,” Tuberville said. “And I think he’s had to fight every battle by himself. He can’t get to all of them because nobody is helping him. Nobody is standing up for him.”
Tuberville is one of several Republicans running in the primary to take on Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in 2020.
The crowded field of contenders includes Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief says he opposes invoking Insurrection Act for protests | White House dodges on Trump’s confidence in Esper | ‘Angry and appalled’ Mattis scorches Trump Republicans stand by Esper after public break with Trump Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard MORE (R-Ala.), Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R) and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreSessions goes after Tuberville’s coaching record in challenging him to debate The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Sessions fires back at Trump over recusal: ‘I did my duty & you’re damn fortunate I did” MORE.
Moore lost narrowly to Jones in a special election in 2017. Republicans were heavily favored in that race, but Moore lost after several women accused him of sexual misconduct when they were minors. He has denied the allegations.
Republicans are bullish on taking back the seat in 2020.
Most of the GOP candidates, including Tuberville, are seeking to align themselves closely with Trump, who won Alabama by nearly 30 points in 2016.
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