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Politics Sessions crashes into Tuberville, Trump in Alabama runoff

02:15  14 july  2020
02:15  14 july  2020 Source:   politico.com

Sessions hits back at Trump days ahead of Alabama Senate runoff

  Sessions hits back at Trump days ahead of Alabama Senate runoff Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions hit back at President Trump Saturday after the president endorsed his rival in the Alabama Senate runoff just days before the contest, saying Alabaman voters will not take their cues from the White House.Sessions's rebuke came after Trump called for Alabamans to vote for Tommy Tuberville, calling the former coach a "winner" and Sessions a "disaster who has let us all down.

Trump continued to promote Tommy Tuberville , Sessions ' rival for Alabama 's GOP nomination for Senate, on Twitter. Trump has held a grudge against Sessions ever since he recused himself in the investigation into Russian election interference that marred the first two years of Trump 's presidency.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville are tied, just weeks before they face off in a Senate Republican runoff in Alabama , according to a new poll.

Tommy Tuberville, the former college football coach, knows how to run out the clock.

Tommy Tuberville smiling for the camera: Former college football coach Tommy Tuberville is vying to take on Sen. Doug Jones in the fall. © John Minchillo/AP Photo Former college football coach Tommy Tuberville is vying to take on Sen. Doug Jones in the fall.

Armed with an advantage in the polls, an outsider message and President Donald Trump's full-throated endorsement, Tuberville has spent the past 19 weeks sitting on his lead over Jeff Sessions, as Tuesday's GOP primary runoff for Senate in Alabama finally approaches.

While Trump's former attorney general has increasingly upped his attacks — calling Tuberville unprepared and weak for refusing to debate him — Tuberville hasn't taken the bait, avoiding direct confrontation with Sessions for months.

Jeff Sessions dismisses Trump's 'juvenile insults': 'My honor and integrity are far more important'

  Jeff Sessions dismisses Trump's 'juvenile insults': 'My honor and integrity are far more important' Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions blasted President Trump's "juvenile insults" on Saturday in a marked departure from his characteristic silence after years of attacks from his former boss. © Provided by FOX News Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is fighting for his old Alabama Senate seat after leaving Congress to join the Trump administration. Trump had tweeted that Sessions was a "disaster" while offering support for Alabama Republican Tommy Tuberville, who's running against Sessions for the Senate seat he held for decades before entering the Trump administration.

President Trump criticized Republican Alabama Senate contender Jeff Sessions early Wednesday Trump repeatedly and publicly eviscerated Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference during his tenure as attorney general.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday night endorsed the opponent of former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Alabama US Senate runoff election after holding his fire before the Republican primary last week.

“It's like he's holding his lead and playing prevent defense,” Chris Brown, a GOP strategist in the state who raised concerns about Tuberville’s lack of vetting in the primary, said, invoking a football metaphor for extreme cautiousness. “I don't think people really know much about Tommy Tuberville other than Trump endorsed him, and he coached football.”

In Alabama, that may prove to be enough. The two men are vying to take on Sen. Doug Jones, who won a special election in 2017 and is the most vulnerable Democrat up this year. As Trump and his party have seen their poll numbers slip over the past few months, a victory in Alabama is essential to Republicans' chances of retaining their Senate majority.

Instead of the pending matchup with Jones, the runoff has been defined by Trump's continued ridicule of Sessions, who held the Senate seat for two decades before Trump plucked him out of the chamber to take over the Justice Department. But Sessions' recusal from the investigation over Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, while praised by career prosecutors and ethics watchdogs, drew Trump's ire — and Sessions never recovered in the president's eyes.

Jeff Sessions fights for old Senate seat in tough race against Trump-endorsed Tommy Tuberville

  Jeff Sessions fights for old Senate seat in tough race against Trump-endorsed Tommy Tuberville Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is fighting to reclaim his US Senate seat in Alabama in a GOP primary runoff against former Auburn University coach Tommy Tuberville, who has a major advantage with an endorsement from President Donald Trump. © Provided by CNN Sessions was the first US senator to endorse Trump in the 2016 presidential race and was once a prominent figure in the Trump administration as the top official leading the Justice Department. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

President Trump on Tuesday endorsed former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville in his Alabama runoff election against Jeff Sessions , dealing a blow to Trump 's former attorney general as he attempts to get back into the Senate.

President Donald Trump spurned Jeff Sessions and endorsed Tommy Tuberville in the Alabama Senate race Tuesday, an enormous blow to Trump 's former attorney general, whom he had excoriated for recusing from the Justice Department's Russia investigation.

Jeff Sessions wearing a suit and tie: WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 09: Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks during a farewell ceremony for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice Building May 09, 2019 in Washington, DC. Rosenstein, who has worked for the federal government for more than 29 years, will be most remembered for overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2018 presidential election. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 09: Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks during a farewell ceremony for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the Robert F. Kennedy Main Justice Building May 09, 2019 in Washington, DC. Rosenstein, who has worked for the federal government for more than 29 years, will be most remembered for overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2018 presidential election. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

"Jeff Sessions is a disaster who has let us all down," Trump tweeted on Saturday, three days before Tuesday's runoff. "We don't want him back in Washington!"

Sessions fired back, calling the insults "juvenile" and reiterating his opinion that Tuberville was "too cowardly" to debate.

After Tuberville narrowly edged out Sessions for first place in the March 3 primary, the runoff originally scheduled for the final day of March was postponed until mid-July. The change sapped Tuberville of the momentum from his primary victory and Trump’s endorsement a week later. It has also created an uncertain turnout environment, with several other competitive runoffs lower on the ballot. Low turnout could benefit Sessions, who's been involved in the state's politics for decades.

Jeff Sessions loses comeback bid in Alabama runoff

  Jeff Sessions loses comeback bid in Alabama runoff Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed in his bid to reclaim his old Senate seat after losing to former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville in the Alabama GOP runoff on Tuesday. Tuberville was leading Sessions by 63 percent to 37 percent, with 35 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.The former football coach will go on to face Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November. Jones is considered the most vulnerable Democrat facing reelection in 2020 in a race The Cook Political Report rates as "Lean Republican."The runoff comes months after the state's Republican primary in March, where Sessions received 31.

President Trump endorsed former college football coach Tommy Tuberville in the Republican Senate primary in Alabama Senate race, rebuking his former Attorney General Jeff Tuberville and Sessions will compete in a runoff on March 31 after neither won a majority in last Tuesday’s primary.

Jeff Sessions is trying to reclaim his old Senate seat. But his former boss, President Trump , is backing Sessions ' Republican opponent, former Auburn Jeff Sessions talks with the media after voting in Alabama 's primary election in Mobile, Ala., on March 3. He faces Tommy Tuberville in Tuesday's

But while that time gave Sessions opportunities to reinvigorate his campaign, it hasn’t necessarily changed the outlook of the race. Polls have shown Tuberville with a lead and he secured the endorsement of Will Ainsworth, the state’s lieutenant governor, last week.

“Coach Tuberville will whip Doug Jones,” Ainsworth said in an interview. “Doug Jones is an out-of-touch liberal — that does not resonate with Alabama. That was a fluke.”

Tuberville has defended his strategy, likening debating Sessions at this point in the campaign to "punting on first down" in a radio interview last month. He’s also battered Sessions in TV ads, throwing back the “weak” accusation and attacking Sessions for his deteriorated relationship with Trump.

Still, some Republicans have been frustrated by the lack of engagement during four-month runoff. Rep. Gary Palmer, who considered running for Senate, said in a recent local radio interview it bothered him there hadn’t been a debate. Some Republican consultants not affiliated in the race have expressed concern about what’s waiting for Tuberville if he emerges Tuesday — pointing to a recent New York Times report about Tuberville's involvement in a failed hedge fund for which his associate pleaded guilty to fraud.

Ex-Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville defeats Jeff Sessions in GOP primary for Alabama Senate seat

  Ex-Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville defeats Jeff Sessions in GOP primary for Alabama Senate seat Tuberville coached the Tigers from 1999-2008 and also coached Ole Miss, Texas Tech and CincinnatiTuberville defeated Jeff Sessions in the Republican runoff for a United States Senate seat in the state of Alabama on Tuesday. The Associated Press called the race for Tuberville at 9:16 p.m. ET.

Jeff Sessions will face off against Tommy Tuberville in Tuesday's Republican primary runoff in Alabama . But the relationship quickly soured in early 2017, when Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, culminating with Mr. Trump

Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville speaks to his supporters at Auburn Oaks Farm in Notasulga, Ala., Monday, March 3, 2020. Trump 's endorsement of Tuberville came a week after he appeared to mock Sessions for being forced into a runoff . “This is what happens to someone who

“Because he has not been vetted, because this is his first campaign and because Doug Jones is sitting on millions and millions of dollars, there is concern over whether Tommy Tuberville will be able to survive the type of campaign Doug Jones is going to run,” said Angi Stalnaker, a veteran operative who was a top aide to former Gov. Robert Bentley. “We don't know anything about Tommy Tuberville other than he is a football coach and loves Donald Trump. And we're all keeping our fingers crossed that's going to be enough to take back that seat for Republicans.”

Trump carried Alabama by nearly 30 percentage points in 2016, and most Republicans believe either man will defeat Jones — who won in the 2017 special election by less than 2 percentage points over Roy Moore, who had been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with minors.

But the GOP is still planning to spend precious resources to win. The Club for Growth, which endorsed Tuberville after Trump did, is launching $1.3 million in TV ads the morning after the runoff. One Nation, a dark-money group affiliated with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is neutral in the primary but booked $3.2 million to air starting the following week.

“The fight in Alabama will continue, I predict, the day after the runoff and go all the way through November,” David McIntosh, the Club for Growth president, said in an interview.

Trump takes victory lap after Tuberville defeats Sessions

  Trump takes victory lap after Tuberville defeats Sessions President Trump took a victory lap Tuesday after Tommy Tuberville defeated former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the Alabama Senate runoff.Trump, who endorsed Tuberville, touted the margin by which he defeated Sessions and suggested the former Auburn University football coach will be a strong candidate to run against Sen. Doug Jones, widely considered the most vulnerable Democrat up for reelection this year."Wow, just called! @TTuberville - Tommy Tuberville WON big against Jeff Sessions. Will be a GREAT Senator for the incredible people of Alabama. @DougJones is a terrible Senator who is just a Super Liberal puppet for Schumer & Pelosi.

A poll conducted for the Club for Growth from June 29-July 2 found Tuberville with a double digit lead over Jones, 50 percent to 40 percent.

Democratic polling has shown a narrower race. An internal survey for Jones campaign conducted three weeks earlier showed Jones trailing Tuberville by 3 percentage points. And an independent survey from ALG Research, an Alabama-based Democratic firm, showed Jones trailing Tuberville by 3 points and Sessions by 2 points.

Sessions has repeatedly been on the attack during the runoff, in the unfamiliar spot of insurgent candidate running from behind without the benefits of incumbency. He has called Tuberville weak for not debating, and said he would be ineffective in the Senate. He has posted his local media interviews on Twitter while criticizing Tuberville, an Arkansas native who spent a decade as the head coach at Auburn University, for not talking to press.

“Jeff Sessions is tough, and he's determined, and he's really bright. So he's been focused for the last few months on winning every day,” said Curt Anderson, a top adviser to Sessions’ campaign. “Tuberville has basically been on autopilot and figured the Trump endorsement is all he needs, and he'll be fine. Which could be true, by the way. But Sessions has really been battling and talking about issues at length.”

Tuberville’s campaign declined to make him available for an interview and did not respond to written questions submitted by POLITICO. But his allies brushed aside Sessions' attacks as merely swings from a candidate badly trailing.

Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact'

  Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' "I leave with no regrets," former Alabama senator Jeff Sessions says after primary defeatSessions, who represented Alabama in the Senate for 20 years before joining the Trump administration as the nation's top law enforcement official, faced withering criticism from the president over his recusal, which critics said led to the appointment of former special counsel Robert Mueller.

“I think Jeff Sessions is in trouble, and he knows it, and he's just grasping for straws,” said Ainsworth, the lieutenant governor who endorsed Tuberville.

Jones' campaign hasn’t weighed in or aimed to lift one of his potential opponents. Instead, he has spent nearly $1.4 million on TV with a series of positive ads speaking directly to camera about his record and issues in the race.

Joe Trippi, a senior adviser to Jones, pointed to the internal polling showing them narrowly trailing either Republican.

“We're in a dead heat and have $8 million in the bank against somebody who has a divided party and is going to have to re-up the money,” Trippi said. “We feel pretty good about our chances. Right now, we're running on our record.”


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Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate runoff to Tommy Tuberville .
Tuberville will take on Democrat Doug Jones in November. The seat is considered the Democrats' most vulnerable Senate seat, since it is in deep-red Alabama. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Mr. Trump tweeted about the race shortly after it was called, writing that Tuberville "WON big" and predicted he will be a "GREAT Senator."These were tame comments from Mr. Trump, who has insulted Sessions throughout the race. Over the weekend, Mr.

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