Jul 14, 2020
Tommy Tuberville & Jeff Sessions Speech Transcripts: Tuberville Beats Sessions in Alabama Senate Runoff
Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville beat former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Alabama’s GOP Senate primary runoff. Donald Trump backed Tuberville to beat his former AG Sessions. Read the transcript of Tuberville’s victory speech and Sessions’ concession speech.
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Tommy Tuberville Victory Speech
Tommy Tuberville: (00:00)
Thank you, Alabama. Thank you for your trust, your confidence. Your message of change is loud and clear. To Senator Jeff Sessions and his supporters, let me congratulate you on a hard-fought campaign. You know, being a football coach, I know when you get into a bowl game and you lose, one team moves on, the other one doesn’t. But you’re in the same conference, but you pull for each other, even after that. This is a great country we live in. I just talked to Senator Sessions and he was awesome. He said, “Coach, I’m all in.”
Tommy Tuberville: (00:50)
I want to thank him for his service, for what he’s done for many years for this state and this country. It’s hard. It’s hard being in public life that long. But I know that Jeff Sessions and his supporters are going to be behind us. We’re going to need everybody on deck. This is going to be hard, but we do appreciate your support, and now we’re all on the same team.
Tommy Tuberville: (01:29)
For the past year and a half, which is the hardest dang thing I’ve ever done, I’ve traveled to what seemed like every city, town, and crossroads in the state of Alabama. I’ve listened to stories. I’ve listened to it all. And, I’ve listened to the concerns of everybody. There’s a lot of people hurting, and I’ve been listening. I haven’t taken anything for granted. I’ve stood in the field with farmers, putting their crops in back in planting season, a month ago. And they’re not even planting that crop to feed their family, but they’re planting that crop to feed our families.
Tommy Tuberville: (02:19)
It’s important we understand that. I want to thank ALFA for their support. They’ve been huge, been huge. I’ve sat with military veterans who simply want their country that they served faithfully to keep their promises to them, like the VA. I’ve talked to many of them. I’ve met with enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers who have risked their lives and safety every day to provide help for all of us.
Tommy Tuberville: (02:55)
In this tough time that we’re going through as we speak today, with everybody wearing masks at one time or another, I’ve listened to doctors and nurses who have been on the front line, battling this China virus, this unseen enemy, in the hospital wards and IC units. And it’s been tough. I’ve also comforted the jobless. Many places I’ve been, people have been out of jobs. President Trump, who by the way, who’s the best president in my lifetime, who, by the way, called about 30 minutes ago and wished us luck and congratulated us on what happened today.
Tommy Tuberville: (03:46)
Those people without jobs are worried because they don’t know what the future holds and none of us do, but all those stories and a thousand more like them have touched my heart. And I’ve promised that your voices and all the voices of the state of Alabama will be heard on the floor of the United States Senate.
Tommy Tuberville: (04:11)
You know, I’m today reminded of my mom and dad, CR and Olive, both deceased, who at a young age, instilled in me the importance of serving others and fighting for what I believe is right. You know, my dad dropped out of school in the 10th grade to join the military in World War II. I said, “Dad, the 10th grade?” He said, “Yeah, I got tired of following that damn mule.”
Tommy Tuberville: (04:54)
But at 18 or somewhere around that age, what do you think about this now, him and thousands of other men and women in this country and our allies landed on D-Day at Normandy at 18 years old. And he drove a tank across Europe, losing friends every day, fighting for every inch, every foot, and every step. By war’s end, my dad had earned five bronze stars. Now a bronze stars is fighting in a major battle. If you win one or two of those, or earn one or two of those, it’s special.
Tommy Tuberville: (05:38)
At 18 and 19 years old he earned five of them. He was my hero. He earned a purple heart, which nowadays is a million-dollar wound. They send you home. Back then, they put him in a infirmary for a month and then sent him back to the front lines. He got hit in the back. He had a big hole in his back, and I asked him, one day, “Dad, you got hit in the back.” He said, “Yes, son. I was running like hell. My tank was on fire.”
Tommy Tuberville: (06:08)
I can’t imagine what that generation did. But throughout this election, I’ll be fighting for many of the same ideas, same principles, and the same God given freedoms that my father and others like him in the Greatest Generation fought for so many years ago. Thanks to them. So now, we turn our eyes towards our next opponent.
Tommy Tuberville: (06:44)
We’ve got a little over a hundred days, because this runoff was pushed back. Democrat Doug Jones is running for reelection with a slogan of One Alabama. Well, you can make no mistake about it. What Doug really means is one liberal Alabama. In Doug Jones’ Alabama you take your marching orders from Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer, and the bartender AOC, and all the liberal left.
Tommy Tuberville: (07:22)
In Doug Jones’ Alabama the Second Amendment is a dream. It’s just a thought. It’s not in the constitution to them. By God, they’re not taking our guns. In Doug Jones’ Alabama you vote against conservative judges, people that believe in the constitution, believe in this country. He voted against Brett Kavanaugh. Are you kidding me? We have got to have conservative judges in this country to go by the rule of the law.
Tommy Tuberville: (08:02)
In Doug Jones’ Alabama you don’t work for your state in Alabama. You don’t work for the United States of America. You spend the first three years trying to impeach the best president we’ve ever had. And he voted to impeach him. In Doug Jones’ Alabama, the rule of law is a mob rule. Think about that. It’s not law enforcement. It’s mob rule.
Tommy Tuberville: (08:27)
And in a Doug Jones’ Alabama, politically correct is the name of the game. I am so sick of that. I’m sick of it. Doug Jones’ Alabama is not the conservative state that we love and embrace and defend. It’s a liberal fantasy. A liberal fantasy is what Doug Jones believes in. He believes in funding Planned Parenthood, but defunding the police.
Tommy Tuberville: (08:55)
Folks, we can’t make it. We cannot make it without great law enforcement. It is time we have a Senator who represents Alabama values, not New York values, not Chicago values, not liberal Democrat values. We need a Senator that believes in our values. It’s our mission. It’s our movement. It’s our moment to reclaim Alabama Senate seat from Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi, and put it firmly back in the conservative column.
Tommy Tuberville: (09:42)
And that effort begins right here right now and tonight. I want to thank all of you for coming tonight. This hasn’t been a great night for me or my family. This has been a great night for Alabama and United States of America. I want to thank everybody here for your support. We got a hard road ahead in the next three months, and I’m telling you, I hadn’t taken any days off in the last 480, and I’m not going to take them off now. So I want to say this. God bless all of you, God bless sweet home, Alabama, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you.
Jeff Sessions Concession Speech
Jeff Sessions: (00:02)
Good evening. To the people of Alabama, I want to thank you for your support over the years. We fought a good fight in this race, and we’ve taken our case to the people of Alabama, and the people of Alabama have spoken. They want a new leader. A new fresh face to go to Washington. I think we’re going to have that. I love this state. It’s been an honor beyond words for me to serve it.
Jeff Sessions: (00:31)
I grew up in the country, a little house of thousand square feet, no central air. My daddy had a country store, had a gristmill in it, and later he had a small, small farm equipment dealership. He struggled to take care of us through that process and managed to get out of it with his shirt. I worked construction two summers and sold dictionaries and did other things to work my way through college. Great day, I find myself interested in politics, studying the issues. My wife and I met at college and got involved in Republican politics. It’s been a real adventure for me.
Jeff Sessions: (01:18)
I want to congratulate Tommy Tuberville. He ran a really firm, solid race. He was focused on his goal and on winning. He had a plan to do so, and he was able to do so. He is our Republican nominee. We must stand behind him in November.
Jeff Sessions: (01:40)
So, I just thinking about where I’ve been in my life. My wife, Mary, and I have had an incredible adventure. As teenagers, we established the Huntington College Young Republican Club, the first one ever at that college. We had two members only of the Alabama legislature. We were present at the creation of the modern Republican party in Alabama. And I’ve watched it grow over the years. Great to see it prosper. We stood up to the demagogic Democrats. We stood up to the good old boy crowd. We stood for principle, for good values, good government, clean officials, doing the right thing every day, working in the public interest. That vision, those principles of law and constitutionalism, produced a growing party. And it grew until at this point, every statewide elected official in Alabama is a Republican, except one: Doug Jones. And that has to end. And that’s what I believe will be happening in the weeks to come.
Jeff Sessions: (03:02)
So, ours is an honorable state. A state of good, decent, hardworking, frugal, honest, churchgoing, frugal, conservative Republicans now. Doug Jones does not need to be our voice in Washington. Doug Jones seeks to have Chuck Schumer be the majority leader in the United States Senate. He wishes to see the policies of Nancy Pelosi prevail over conservative Alabama principles. It is an extraordinary thing. He has used the platform of Alabama voters to advance a liberal Democratic agenda too long. That must end. The stakes are high. This party politics in the Senate is of tremendous importance, as most of you know, as a result of the fact that every committee is chaired by the party that has the majority in the Congress.
Jeff Sessions: (04:06)
So, my view about things at this point in history is that the political parties have not been sufficiently sensitive to, understanding of, and responsive to the legitimate wishes of the American people. And I have come to that belief more strongly in recent years. It’s really why I chose to make this race. I thought I might have the ability to contribute in some way to the future of our country, in that the Republican party has the greatest opportunity to build a leading majority in America, but to do so they need to be more attuned to the values of the people of our country. They really do.
Jeff Sessions: (04:57)
For example, immigration. The American people are not against immigration, but they want a lawful system, and they want the kind of immigration that serves the national interest, and that does not become a mechanism by which their wages are pulled down and their ability to find a decent job is reduced substantially. They are right about that. They’re exactly right about that. But powerful forces out there on the other side, they want more labor and cheaper labor. That’s just what certain businesses do. That’s what they always seek. Secondly, I think the American people have been right to resist this religious free trade idea that no matter how bad a competitor cheats you, or if they sell products, China sells products to the United States below cost, closing an American factory, laying off hundreds of American workers, these people, these religious free traders, think we should send them a thank you note, because you can get it a few cents cheaper at Walmart or one of our other stores.
Jeff Sessions: (06:02)
American people are not happy with that. American people are not happy that we’ve allowed China to dominate our trade situation, and they have massive trade surpluses with us. They’re not happy with that. I think that that’s wrong. And I think we’ve got involved in too many wars that don’t have an end to them, have not served the national interest, and hasn’t even helped the people we thought we were trying to help. In all those areas, the American people are right in my opinion. They’re essentially correct. And I think it’s time for this Republican party to listen to the Donald Trump agenda, because he’s talked about those things frankly and openly, and I think they were huge factors in his ability to win that past election. And if he gets on message and stays on it, stays on those principle positions, I think he’ll be in a position to come back and win this election.
Jeff Sessions: (07:04)
We have borders in our country. We have a Constitution that applies within our border, and we need to understand we are a nation state, and our government leaders should be protecting the interest of the American people. We expect CEOs to protect the interests of their stockholders. Government officials should protect the interest of their citizens. It’s just that simple. And too often, we’ve allowed the focus to be on GDP, on growth, on Wall Street, and trading issues like that, and not enough on the struggles of that single mom who’s got to buy four truck tires for her old car. It’s going to cost $600, and she doesn’t have it, and it has to go on a credit card that charges 25% interest.
Jeff Sessions: (07:57)
I mean, this is the world that most Americans live in, and we need to be more sensitive to it. And I think they are right about where we are. So, I believe that that is good. And those are the kinds of issues we should be advancing. I want to see our Congress do so. And I think the party that does something will be the party that can govern in the years to come.
Jeff Sessions: (08:26)
I can’t finish my remarks tonight without thanking my family. I see my wife, Mary, back there. I thought you were going to be up here, Mary, and I got excited and ran up here and got away from me. We’ll soon, within a month, celebrate our 54th anniversary. It’s a remarkable thing to start. Yes, I’d say. Thank you.
Jeff Sessions: (08:57)
It is a remarkable partnership we’ve had, and she’s been so patient with me. And my three children: Mary Abigail, whose husband’s in the Navy and at the Pentagon tonight; Ruth is here with our four grandkids. Her husband is out of town at work today, but four of our girls are here. My son, Sam, in Birmingham now. He’s got four, and they’re here. So we have eight of us, eight of the ten here tonight. Our oldest just had her 13th birthday. This is our crew. Come on up. Lewis, that’s good. Come in, baby. I want to just say how much I appreciate … Sam, come on. Ruth.
Speaker 2: (09:44)
Y’all get up there.
Jeff Sessions: (09:50)
Angela, come on. And Ruth. They’ve been a part of this. They’ve been helping me in this campaign. Mary, you got it?
Jeff Sessions: (09:57)
Helping me in this campaign, giving us advice, fighting on the internet, and doing the kinds of things that made us successful. I want to thank our campaign team. They have worked their hearts out. They have given their full effort to this. And we feel like we were beginning to make some progress here at the very end, but it wasn’t enough in these last days, but I really appreciate that team and all the work they’ve done for me. I could never thank them enough.
Jeff Sessions: (10:31)
I feel like I let them down. They worked so hard, and we just couldn’t get it going. So thank you all for that support. And let me say this about the president and our relationship. I leave with no regrets. I was honored to serve the people of Alabama in the Senate, and I was extraordinarily proud of the accomplishments we had as Attorney General. On recusal, I followed the law. I did the right thing, and I saved the president’s bacon in the process. Any other action to try to squelch an investigation in that environment would not have worked. It really would have been a catastrophe. And I’m so glad it finally ended after a prolonged time, and the president has been cleared.
Jeff Sessions: (11:18)
I leave elected office with my integrity intact. I feel good about it. I hold my head high. I took the road less traveled, didn’t try to excuse myself or get in a fight or undermine the leader of our country and the great work he has to do. That was an honorable path, I believe. Although, this chapter of my life is closed, we all must stand up for what’s right. Do it all the right way. Alabama is worth fighting for. America is worth fighting for. We will keep it there.
Jeff Sessions: (12:03)
So, once again, to the people of Alabama, I want to say how much I thank you. I thank you for letting this country boy have the opportunity to be a United States attorney in Mobile for 12 years under President Reagan and Bush, to be able to be Attorney General of Alabama, to be able to serve 20 years in the United States Senate and not even have an opponent last time. I ran unopposed. The only Senator in the country that had no opposition. And then to be able to serve at the Department of Justice in a way … we had one issue that was controversial. But day, after day, after day, we populated that department with people who believed in the Constitution, who believed in religious freedom, who believed in freedom of speech, who believed in following the law, who believed in civil rights, and who believed in law enforcement and backing our police. And that’s even more important today than it’s ever been.
Jeff Sessions: (13:01)
It is a great honor for me to have served you. It is a sense of satisfaction that I complete that service. I do tell you with all sincerity, it is my honor to have been able to serve. I hope that this state will continue to be prosperous and grow in the way that it has over the last number of years. And I looked forward to helping Tommy Tuberville win this race. It’s important for Alabama, but it’s also important for America. Thank you all, and God bless. Thank you.
Speaker 4: (13:46)
Mr. Sessions, have you spoken to Tommy Tuberville this evening?
Jeff Sessions: (13:46)
Good to see you.
Speaker 4: (13:46)
Mr. Sessions, have you spoken to Tommy Tuberville this evening?
Jeff Sessions: (13:46)
Yes, I did.
Speaker 4: (13:46)
You did? How did that conversation go?
Jeff Sessions: (13:56)
We had a nice conversation, and I was pleased to talk to him.
Speaker 4: (13:59)
Jeff Sessions: (14:06)
Good. Thank you all.
Speaker 5: (14:07)
What are you going to do next, Senator Sessions?
Jeff Sessions: (14:12)
Thank you all, and God bless.