Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville flubs basics of the Constitution, World War II and the 2000 election.

November 13, 2020 

In his first big interview as a senator-elect, Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama, misidentified the three branches of the federal government, claimed erroneously that World War II was a battle against socialism and wrongly asserted that former Vice President Al Gore was president-elect for 30 days.

Mr. Tuberville, a former Auburn University football coach who decisively defeated Senator Doug Jones, a Democrat, last week, gave the remarkable interview to The Alabama Daily News on Thursday after attending orientation for new senators in Washington.

Asked if he thought Republicans could still use their potential Senate majority to pass legislation in divided government, with Democrats controlling the White House and House of Representatives, Mr. Tuberville replied that he had been given a mandate to “help people,” adding, “I don’t care if you’re a Republican or Democrat.”

“Our government wasn’t set up for one group to have all three branches of government — wasn’t set up that way,” Mr. Tuberville said. “You know, the House, the Senate, and the executive.”

The three branches of the federal government, as laid out in the Constitution, are the legislative, including both the House and Senate; the executive, or presidency; and judicial, which includes the Supreme Court.

Asked to opine on the key takeaways from the election, Mr. Tuberville said he was concerned that Mr. Biden, a mainstream, centrist Democrat, had promoted a vision that he claimed “leads more to a socialist type of government.”

“That’s concerning to me, that we’re to the point now where we’ve got almost half the country voting for something that this country wasn’t built on,” Mr. Tuberville said. “I tell people, my dad fought 76 years ago in Europe to free Europe of socialism.”

World War II was a global battle against fascism.

Mr. Tuberville also said he planned to use his Senate office to raise money for two Republican senators in Georgia who are facing runoff elections that will determine control of the chamber. Senate ethics rules bar the use of official resources for campaign purposes.

And in another exchange, he erroneously said that Mr. Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000, was president-elect for 30 days during an intense, protracted recount and legal battle. Neither Mr. Gore nor George W. Bush were considered the president-elect during that process.

The interview amounted to the most in-depth remarks Mr. Tuberville had given since he was elected last week. He cut a low profile on the campaign trail, rarely making himself available to reporters other than those at conservative outlets, but had positioned himself as a staunch supporter of President Trump.

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