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ICYMI: Republican Senate Candidates Largely Back Tommy Tuberville’s Military Holds [The Messenger]

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The Messenger: Republican Senate Candidates Largely Back Tommy Tuberville’s Military Holds
By Matt Holt
November 20, 2023

  • Republican Senate candidates across the country are largely receptive to Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s hold on military nominations.
  • Last Tuesday, the Senate Rules Committee approved a resolution allowing the chamber to circumvent Tuberville’s holds. For months, Tuberville has held up senior military promotions in protest of the Pentagon’s abortion policy. 
  • The brouhaha seems tailor made for Democratic campaigns, with abortion rights supporters and Democrats notching win after win in races across the country after Roe v. Wade was overturned. 
  • “Republican Senate candidates have shown they’ll put their dangerous, self-serving politics ahead of America’s brave service members, and the national security of our country. In doing so, they’ve provided voters another reason to reject them in 2024,” said DSCC spokesperson Tommy Garcia. 
  • Tuberville’s holds have been divisive within the GOP Senate conference. Republican Sens. Dan Sullivan, Mitt Romney, and Joni Ernst even took to the Senate floor to read individual bios of the service members Tuberville is holding up. 
  • Yet, the majority of GOP Senate candidates – challengers and incumbents – seem ready to double down on Tuberville’s strategy. Last week, appearing on conservative host Dan Bongino’s radio show, Arizona Republican Kari Lake, the frontrunner in the GOP primary, used Tuberville’s military holds as an example of how a freshman senator could wield power in the upper chamber.  
  • “I think Tuberville right now is showing that even a freshman senator can have an impact. He is holding those appointments based on principle,” Lake told Bongino. “And we’re showing that you can have an effect as a freshman senator, and so I will be a strong freshman senator, I’ll use my power the best way I can to serve our country and the people.” 
  • In Nevada, Sam Brown… sent a fundraising appeal mentioning Tuberville’s military blockade. The email asked supporters if they support Tuberville “in his fight to stop military-funded abortion trips.” The page split donations with retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy, who is running for Senate in Montana and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, as well as the NRSC. 
  • Tony Grady, a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and Nevada GOP Senate candidate, criticized Brown, saying in a press release that Tuberville’s “reluctance to approve the promotions is putting the country at risk and actively hurting the people who serve our country.” 
  • Another prospective Montana Senate candidate, Rep. Matt Rosendale, has said he’s supportive of the hold on multiple occasions. 
  • In Ohio, all three GOP Senate candidates largely support Tuberville’s holds. 
  • It’s not just Senate challengers that are backing up Tuberville. 
  • Florida Sen. Rick Scott, running for reelection next year, warned Republican leaders on November 7th not to circumvent Tuberville’s holds on appointees, saying it would be a “mistake” to support a Democratic-led resolution to change Senate procedure. 
  • “I support Tommy,” Scott told The Hill. “We ought to respect that a person has a different position, and actually I support his position.”
  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz voted by proxy against the most recent resolution in the Rules Committee.

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