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Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville defends Trump statements on white supremacists at debate

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Tommy Tuberville, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, made a campaign stop in Red Bay, Alabama on Wednesday September 30, 2020. (Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com).
By Paul Gattis
AL.com

Alabama Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, at a campaign stop in Red Bay on Wednesday, blamed moderator Chris Wallace for the presidential debate Tuesday night that at times seemingly skidded out of control as President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden constantly talked over each other.

“It was like a football game without a referee,” Tuberville said in a brief interview with AL.com following a speech to supporters. “(Moderator Chris) Wallace, he wasn’t strong enough. I thought he did a good job but he just kind of lost control of it.

“Myself included, I wanted to hear what they said about the issues, not argue back and forth. I guess, the first one like that, both of them were fired up, I hope the next one is more controlled and they have somebody that can control it a little bit better.”

Tuberville faces Democrat Sen. Doug Jones in the Nov. 3 Senate election.

Aside from the candidates repeatedly interrupting each other, a defining moment in the debate came when Wallace asked Trump if he would condemn white supremacist groups. The president went on to give an apparent shout out to Proud Boys – a far-right, pro-Trump group that has been accused of provoking violence in protests.

“Sure, I’m willing to do that,” Trump said at the debate.