Tuberville brings robust crowd to Cullman Republican meeting

Tommy Tuberville, right, speaks with resident Dan Willingham, left, at Saturday morning’s Cullman County Republican Party meeting. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Tommy Tuberville stopped in Cullman Saturday to speak at the Cullman County Republican Party meeting at the Elks Lodge. A robust crowd came out for breakfast and to hear the former Auburn Football head coach as he explained his motivation for running for the U.S Senate.

“Wasn’t too many years ago, I said that when I get out of coaching, if I feel good and got the energy, I’m gonna try to make a difference. That’s the reason I am here today,” Tuberville said.

Not being a career politician, Tuberville said he believes he is better qualified to be a voice for the people of Alabama. He described himself as a lifelong “Christian Conservative” with a focus on God, family and education.

“We have taken our eye off the ball. I’m running because I don’t need a job,” he said. “Folks, I could be playing golf. I could be fishing, and I am not taking a paycheck. I wish every one of them that went up there didn’t take a paycheck. They wouldn’t stay long.”

He reminded everyone that voters are the ones who can initiate change, promising, “We don’t need somebody to go up there and look for somebody to give them something to vote a certain way. I’m the same way. You know how I’m going to vote when I go? I’m gonna vote how YOU want me to vote and that’s exactly what we should do. You send somebody to Washington; they work for you. You don’t work for them. For some reason, it’s been flipped.”

Tuberville said he believes his experience as an educator and coach brings qualifications that career politicians lack.

“Yep, I’m a coach. I’ve had a job. I’ve been all over this country and all over this world,” he said.

Tuberville said he spends a great deal of time traveling and visiting military and law enforcement, describing how he feels the current treatment of military and police is “upside down” and pledging to work to support their efforts to protect the country.

“Every vet should have a card. If you went over and fought in a foreign war, you come home and get a card. You walk into any hospital and you get your 100% health care paid for.”

Tuberville also supports President Donald Trump and his efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he is not interested in being politically correct.

As for being a good senator, Tuberville said, “I’ve been a leader all my life. I pull people together. You can’t be a coach and people not trust you. I am a salesman. What does that mean, coach? I go to Washington D.C., there’s decisions you gotta make. The biggest thing for your state is to get manufacturing and technology to come here. Do you want someone who has sat behind a desk all their life? A politician? Or do you want a football coach that all he’s ever done is sell. All I’ve ever done is go out…I can get to any CEO and I can talk to anybody. First of all, not that I’m anybody, but they like to talk to football coaches. They’re pretty popular. I will have a leg up when I get elected.”

In conclusion, he said, “This is a serious job that I’m running for. This is not an ego trip. I couldn’t care less if I was ever on TV again, if I ever do an interview with the paper, if I ever did the radio. I’ve done all that. I am doing this for this country, for this state and for you.”

Following the meeting Tuberville spoke with The Tribune about how he will try to help bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats.

He said, “On both sides, they are going to know who I am so I can build a friendship with everybody. It’s all about communicating with people. Right now, they don’t even want to talk to each other. We need different people up there from different professions who will talk about the issues. That’s why you’re up there. You aren’t up there to just hide in a room and not talk to anybody. I’m a party person, but I’m American person first. If you don’t go up there and start a conversation, you’ve got no chance.”

He added, “There’s a few of them up there that have completely lost their minds, but there’s got to be a dialog.”

When asked about his coaching experience and how that will carry over to the Senate, he said, “You’ve got an offense and defense that go against each other every day, They don’t like each other, so you gotta try to keep playing as a team because once you play somebody, you’re all on the same team.”

He added, “They go back next week and the leaders of the Senate, they all oughta all get together and say, ‘Listen, there’s a lot of people out there hurting. Forget about your personal vendettas and all that. Let’s get something done.’”

Click here to see a video of Saturday’s meeting.

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