Tommy Tuberville erroneously thinks Joe Biden's inauguration could be pushed back due to COVID-19

Nick Bromberg
·3 min read

Does Tommy Tuberville need to retake his high school United States government class?

The freshman Alabama senator and former college football coach wondered to CBS 42 in Birmingham this week if President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration should be pushed back because of COVID-19.

“We probably could have had a swearing-in and inauguration later after we got this virus behind us a little bit. Again, we’re talking about Washington, D.C.,” Tuberville said.

“This virus” that Tuberville refers to is, of course, COVID-19. But worldwide pandemic or not, the United States Constitution says that presidents are inaugurated on Jan. 20. There’s no provision in the Constitution to move the swearing in of a president back for whatever reason. Biden’s transfer into office can’t be moved without an amendment to the Constitution.

The CBS story noted that “it wasn’t clear if Tuberville was aware of that during the interview.”

Why would Tuberville want the inauguration pushed back? And when would he want it to happen given that the pandemic isn’t close to being over? We’re not entirely sure, but it likely has to do with the Republican’s support of outgoing President Donald Trump.

Tuberville was one of the senators who objected to the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6. He won his November election over former Sen. Doug Jones, thanks to unabashed support of Trump in deep-red Alabama.

Tuberville appeared to be a close ally of the president and his legal team throughout the unfounded challenges to Biden’s win. Rudy Giuliani left a message intended for Tuberville on the phone of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). In that message, Giuliani asked Tuberville to delay the Electoral College certification as much as possible so that Giuliani could find more “information” to support the president’s baseless voter fraud claims.

The former Auburn and Ole Miss coach was sworn into the Senate on Jan. 3. The Senate seat is Tuberville’s first elected position.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 09: Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) meets with the media on November 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Senate is reconvening for the first time after the 2020 presidential election and a coronavirus relief package is high on their list of priorities. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
Tommy Tuberville is now representing Alabama in the Senate after coaching at Auburn. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

‘The House, the Senate and the executive’

Wednesday’s interview is not the first time that Tuberville hasn’t shown a clear grasp of how the United States government works. In a November interview with the Alabama Daily News after his win over Jones, Tuberville identified the House of Representatives and the Senate as different branches of government.

“Our government wasn’t set up for one [political] group to have all three branches of government — wasn’t set up that way,” Tuberville said in that interview where he also said that World War II was fought to free Europe from socialism. “You know, the House, the Senate, and the executive.”

As most of you know, the House and Senate are part of the legislative branch of government. The other two branches of government are the judicial branch and the executive branch.

Hopefully Tuberville knows those three branches now as well as he knows how to break down a Cover 3 defense.

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