MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Tommy Tuberville is known to most as Auburn University’s former football coach. Now he is making a run for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat.
“I’m worried about our country,” he said. “We’re in trouble. We’ve kicked the can down the road for years."
That can is the more than $20 trillion in debt, Tuberville said. His priorities include more money for teachers, military and law enforcement.
Tuberville said education remains his prime concern.
“We’ve got to get back to teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. We got to put stress on discipline in the school, back our teachers,” he said. “We’ve got a Department of Education that has 4000 employees in Washington DC. I bet none of them ever taught a class in their life. They’re bureaucrats. And so I’d take the Department of Education and move it out of Washington and move every Department of Education to each state.”
Tuberville, along with several other Republican candidates, have campaigned on replacing “career politicians.”
“A lot of people in Washington don’t understand what’s going on in the homes and the communities in the rural areas and urban areas,” he said. “That’s the reason we need term limits. We need people to go to Washington to speak for the people, not for themselves, not for their job, not for their career.”
He believes his experience as a coach prepares him for the job as senator.
“Because for years, years I’ve been a leader of our number one commodity, young people," he said. “Eighteen, 19, 20 years old. I’ve dealt with thousands of them. Broke problems, mental health problems, problems at home, education, self-responsibility, but I’ve been a teacher. I’ve been leading them trying to put them in the right direction."
Immigration remains a concern among Republican candidates.
“Are they here to be Americans? Are they here to tear America down? We better put a wall up and know who’s here. We got to know who’s here,” he said.
There are seven Republican candidates on the primary in March. The others include former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, Congressman Bradley Byrne, State Rep. Arnold Mooney, businessman Stanley Adair, and Ruth Page Nelson.