Did Tommy Tuberville really pledge to challenge Joe Biden’s electors at the start of the next Congress? Or is this a dirty trick started by liberal activists? Tuberville himself told Yellowhammer News in an exclusive interview that he has never pledged to take any action in regard to electors, saying that the video from Wednesday confused his answers to other questions with that of the issue of electors.
On that, Tuberville says, he’s still doing “due diligence”:
Sharing a video recorded via a hidden camera from a Wednesday tour stop in Buckhead, a liberal activist in a misleading tweet claimed that Tuberville pledged to back the congressional challenge to the Electoral College in January. Underlining her bias, that activist has also captioned the video, “Cheat Home Alabama,” in reference to Brooks and Tuberville.
Speaking to Yellowhammer News, Tuberville emphasized that he has not made up his mind on whether he will support the congressional challenge; he outlined that he will be doing his “due diligence,” studying the issue and soliciting feedback from his constituents before taking a stance. …
“Listen, people take stuff out of context,” he lamented. Tuberville also explained that the video clip in question was recorded in a crowd when several people were talking to him at once.
“I will make a decision pretty soon, but I’m going to get all of the information before doing so,” he reiterated. “I haven’t done any background work yet. I want to know all about it first. … Mine will be an answer for the people of our state and country, not for any media people out there. We’re going to do what’s right.”
Here’s the video in question. The chaos in which the question is asked does step on Tuberville’s answer a bit, and it may not be clear what question he’s answering. What is clear, though, is that Tuberville is talking up the “stolen election” narrative and promising that it’s not over:
BREAKING: Defying McConnell, Sen-elect Tuberville suggests he will challenge Electoral College, while stumping in Georgia pic.twitter.com/1z5wJ2ajVP
— Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) December 17, 2020
Suggests is probably not a bad word to use here, given the context of Tuberville’s other remarks in the clip. Tuberville claims that it’s “impossible” that Trump lost the election in Georgia, and he’s clearly referring to Mo Brooks’ House effort to challenge electors when asked what he plans to do about it. “You see what’s coming,” Tuberville replies when asked. “You’ve been reading about it in the House, and we’re gonna have to do it in the Senate.”
Granted, that might not be the most explicit committal, but it’s not exactly taking Tuberville out of context either. On Wednesday night, Tuberville all but endorsed Brooks’ electoral challenge strategy.
So why walk this back 24 hours later with a complaint about “liberal activists” taking him out of context? I suspect that a number of Tuberville’s soon-to-be Republican colleagues reached out with some additional “context” for him to consider. Namely this: the US Senate is not going to overturn election results certified by the states, especially not on theories and conjecture that have been tossed out of courts from Nevada to Georgia.
Suddenly, Tuberville now says he hasn’t even studied the issue, wants to perform “due diligence,” and only do what’s “beneficial” for the country. Tuberville pledged to prepare like he did as a head coach at Auburn. This is what’s known as dropping back ten and punting, a strategic maneuver that Tuberville certainly knows well.
That won’t make Trump happy, who was busy yesterday praising Tuberville and is busy this morning still claiming he won the election “by a lot.” But Tuberville might be getting the sense that there’s not much there there to Trump’s claims, and maybe he’d be better off doing that due diligence before making commitments again.