Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s blocking of military promotions divides GOP presidential candidates

by MMC
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Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s months-long hold on hundreds of high-ranking military promotions is emerging as a point of contention among GOP presidential candidates as they prepare to meet Wednesday for their third debate.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley often tout their personal family ties to the military on the trail — but their responses to Tuberville put them on opposite ends of the spectrum among state candidates. 2024. Both condemn the Department of Defense policy that led to Tuberville’s retention: financial leave and out-of-state travel for service members seeking abortions.

But Scott praises Tuberville as being “right on the issue,” while Haley says the Alabama senator’s approach hurts military families.

“What the Department of Defense did was wrong. They’re supposed to go through Congress to change things like that, and they haven’t,” Haley said at a town hall in New Hampshire last week.

“That said, I don’t think you’re holding military families hostage for something like this,” she added. “Military families make enough sacrifices. Don’t try to hold them back and make them political when they don’t want to.”

Haley’s husband began serving a year-long deployment to Africa with the South Carolina National Guard in June, and she said her husband called to ask if the promotion block was true, illustrating the magnitude of the problem for military families. .

Scott, meanwhile, said he supported Tuberville’s hold on military promotions during a moderate conversation at Georgetown University last month, adding that he wouldn’t do it if he thought it affected military leadership.

“No. 1, I think his goal of clarifying a policy that is really important to our military is factually sound,” said Scott, whose brothers and father all served in the military. “No. Second, I would say that the current lack of focus of our military is problematic and challenging, something we should be very concerned about.

The state Democratic Party seized on Scott’s support for the move, accusing him of “undermining military readiness.”

“South Carolina has thousands of families on our eight military bases, but Tim Scott and MAGA Republicans are all too ready to put their anti-abortion extremism above our nation’s military,” the Gate said -state Democratic Party spokesperson Alyssa Bradley.

Scott’s view on the issue is consistent with that of another 2024 candidate with a personal connection to the military: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the only veteran in the primary field.

During an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week, he said Tuberville should not lift his hold on military promotions because “we’re trying to force a change in Pentagon policy to bring it in line with the law”.

DeSantis also emphasized that the Senate has the ability to “promote people on an individual basis,” although Democrats have argued that process is not feasible given the number of pending promotions. Scott also made the same argument on the track.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called Tuberville’s attitude “completely out of character” at the New Hampshire First in the Nation leaders’ summit in October, particularly in light of the attack on Hamas against Israel.

“We need our military to be prepared,” Christie said.

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