MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Former President Donald Trump took the stage with GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville in his home state of Alabama for a campaign event on Friday as the Pentagon deals with the effects of the months-long suspension of Tuberville on military promotions.
Trump remained silent on the issue, and neither Tuberville nor supporters in attendance seemed concerned about the military confirmation at the state party event. This was not mentioned once in Tuberville’s introduction to the former president, nor in Trump’s 40-plus-minute remarks.
Even some Republican voters at Alabama’s GOP summer dinner who disagreed with the blockade were more focused on party loyalty than Tuberville’s maneuver, which currently blocks more than 300 military promotions. The move currently left the Army and Marine Corps without confirmed leaders for the first time in American history.
“If he supported President Trump, I support him. And I might disagree with some other laws he has,” said Brandt Wiggins, a junior at the University of Alabama. supports Trump and Trump supports him, Trump needs loyalists.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin first offered guidance on Friday on a reshuffling of the Pentagon’s leadership role due to the Tuberville maneuver, CNN reported.
The Alabama senator’s months-long suspension from military appointments is tied to his efforts to get the Pentagon to drop its abortion travel policy, which provides paid leave for female service members to seek services reproductive health. The campaign raises concerns about military readiness and potentially leaves some military families uncertain about their next steps.
Lawmakers in both parties have pushed back against Tuberville’s methods, but the senator shows few signs of letting up. He said he would not give up his grips until a vote on Pentagon policy comes to the Senate.
Although Trump has remained silent on the Tuberville military grabs, other GOP presidential hopefuls, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have recently expressed support for the blockade.
“They’re funding abortion tourism, which is not an appropriate thing for the military to do,” DeSantis said. “So I think our Republicans in Congress should just take a stand on this. The (Pentagon) should withdraw.
Trump endorsed Tuberville for the Senate in 2020 against his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Since then, the two have supported each other.
Trump also swept the six endorsements of the Republican congressional delegation from Alabama on Friday.