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VERIFY: Did Senator-elect Tuberville make mistakes about U.S. government and history in an interview?

Stories saying Tommy Tuberville made mistakes in an interview are making the rounds. We looked into these claims.
Credit: AP
Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right, watches election returns and works on his speech in the main house at Auburn Oaks Farm, the site of his election party, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Notasulga, Ala. Tuberville is in a tight race with seven competitors for the Senate seat. (Joe Songer/The Birmingham News via AP)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — It's been a hot topic.

Stories saying that Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville made mistakes when speaking about the U.S. government and U.S. history in an interview are making the rounds on social media.

But did he really make the mistakes the stories claim he did?

The claims:

  • Tuberville was wrong about the branches of the government.
  • Tuberville made a mistake about the purpose of WWII.
  • Tuberville got facts about the 2000 Bush-Gore election wrong.

We looked into it, going straight to the source.

What did Tommy Tuberville say?

Senator-elect and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville gave a wide-ranging interview to Alabama Daily News on November 12. We listened to the audio and read a transcript of the interview, and checked to see if he was right (or wrong).

Question to Tuberville:

You mentioned the majorities and they are going to be razor thin. I mean, right now it looks like one or two seats in the Senate for Republicans, maybe 14 or 15 seats for Democrats in the House. And that’s as close as it’s been in a long, long time. Do you think the Democrats are going to have to work with Republicans and Republicans are going to have to work with Democrats? You see that being possibly a more productive situation?”

Tuberville replied:

Yeah and that’s how our government was set up. You know, our government wasn’t set up for one group to have all three of branches of government. It wasn’t set up that way, our three branches, the House, the Senate and executive. (emphasis added)

So yes, he was wrong about the branches of the government. The three branches of government are the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. (whitehouse.gov)

Later, he said, “As I tell people, my dad fought 76 years ago in Europe to free Europe of Socialism.”

Fascism, and the desire to stop that, not socialism, was one of the root causes of WWII. (Britannica.com)

Finally, when talking about the 2000 presidential election, which was decided by the Supreme Court, Tuberville said, “I remember in 2000 Al Gore was president, United States, president elect, for 30 days – 30 days – and after 30 days, it got to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court says, no, George Bush is going to be the president.”

Al Gore was never considered President-elect, although a few media outlets erroneously used that term. Until the dispute over Florida was resolved, neither man had the 270 electoral votes to win the Electoral College. After Florida was resolved, George W. Bush became President-elect. (history.com)

Did Tommy Tuberville make mistakes in his interview?


We can verify that yes, Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville made the mistakes that were reported.

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