HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Jeff Sessions challenged Tommy Tuberville to five debates across Alabama before the runoff election in July.
While Jeff Sessions says a debate will prove who is ready for the Senate seat, Tommy Tuberville says a debate wouldn’t benefit either candidate.
Jeff Sessions, Tommy Tuberville, and Bradley Byrne agreed to do a debate if it came to a runoff, so WHNT News 19 asked what Tuberville what changed.
“Well it changed because of the pandemic,” said Tuberville. “There was really no talk about a debate, I think he came up with one right before we called it all off. We kinda put everything to a standstill and put it off to July the 14th.”
Tuberville said the decision then came down to the latest polling numbers.
“If he was in the situation I’m in, with a double-digit lead and got a lot of momentum, he wouldn’t do it,” said Tuberville. “You just don’t do it, that’s the bottom line.”
Sessions says Tuberville’s response to the challenge speaks to his fight in the U.S. Senate.
“If you won’t debate Jeff Sessions, will you debate Chuck Shumer, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren?” asked Sessions.
Tuberville says before the primary election, his campaign tried to get Sessions to debate.
“He debated once in 2000, hasn’t debated since,” said Tuberville. “He won’t debate anybody. We tried to get him to come out in three months before the primary and he wouldn’t do it.”
WHNT News 19 reached out to the Sessions campaign for a response on the change of heart.
Sessions’ campaign spokesman, John Rogers sent the following statement:
“During the primary, there were as many as eight candidates in the race. It can be difficult to have a substantive discussion with that many people on one stage. Both Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions agreed to a debate if there were a runoff—and in fact, both men agreed to a runoff debate with WHNT.John Rogers, Sessions’ campaign spokesman
But now Tommy Tuberville is ducking and hiding from Jeff Sessions and the voters of Alabama—he must be afraid to defend his weak views on China. Just yesterday, Tommy said that China has ‘got a better military’ than America. A few weeks ago, he said that ‘we can’t worry about China right now,’ when asked how he would hold China accountable for its coverup of the Wuhan Virus. Alabamians don’t agree with Tommy’s policy of passive appeasement towards the Chinese Communist Party, and Tommy knows it.”
The Republican runoff for the U.S. Senate seat is set for July 14.
The Secretary of State says if an Alabama voter is worried about voting in the election due to the threat of COVID-19, they can apply for an absentee ballot. The deadline to request one is July 9.