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Right-wing media personalities cheer Tommy Tuberville's crusade blocking military promotions

Right-wing media figures call Tuberville a “hero” while Senate Republicans seethe

Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) blockade of hundreds of military promotions that require congressional approval has generated intense backlash from Senate Republicans and national security experts. Despite the GOP’s vocal dissatisfaction and warnings of long-lasting consequences for military readiness, many right-wing media figures have thrown their full support behind Tuberville’s anti-woke and anti-abortion crusade. 

  • Tuberville has blockaded nearly 400 military promotions, drawing ire from his own party and defense experts

    • Since July, Tuberville has blocked hundreds of nominations for military promotions from being voted on by the Senate, drawing bipartisan condemnation. Tuberville has claimed that his blockade is a protest of a Department of Defense policy that reimburses service members for out-of-state travel to receive reproductive health care including abortions, with some right-wing media figures connecting this to supposed “woke propaganda” in the military. [Newsweek, 9/7/23; The Associated Press, 7/15/23, 9/7/23]
    • On Wednesday, a slate of Republican senators took to the floor for nearly four hours to demand Tuberville end his blockage and allow the promotions to pass. GOP figures referred to the stymied nominees as “war heroes” and expressed their frustration with the dangers of Tuberville’s protest. [The Hill, 11/1/23; Politico, 11/1/23; The Associated Press, 11/1/23]
    • Since the start of Tuberville’s blockade, defense and national security officials have been sounding alarm bells about the dire implications this could have. Air Force Gen. Mark Kelly expressed concerns that the Defense Department would lose “a generation of champions” as talented leaders exit the military over the delays, and others have expressed concern at the impact this would have on servicemens livelihoods and families. [Axios, 9/14/23; The Associated Press, 9/16/23]
  • Right wing personalities come out in favor of Tuberville’s crusade while congressional Republicans bash Tuberville

    • In an interview with Tuberville, Laura Ingraham dismissed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) criticism of Tuberville’s blockade. She said, “Senator, apparently now you're against military heroes because you believe actually that there should be a normal course of nominations, especially when they’re pushing the abortion issue in the military, turning it into a social engineering event.” [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 11/1/23]
    • In a segment discussing Marine Commandant Gen. Eric Smith’s recent heart attack, which some observers attributed to workplace stress stemming from the blockade, Newsmax host Greg Kelly repeatedly defended Tuberville. Kelly said, “It’s not his fault. He’s not doing anything wrong. In fact, Tommy is a hero. … He's innocent, too.” [Newsmax, Greg Kelly Reports, 11/1/23]
    • During an interview, Newsmax host Eric Bolling praised Tuberville’s “bold stance” in blocking military promotions, saying, “It’s good to see someone stand up for what they believe in.” In the interview, Bolling said we need more senators and members of Congress to “do what they're elected to” in opposition to “the swamp.” [Newsmax, Eric Bolling The Balance, 11/1/23]
    • On Elon Musk’s X platform (formerly Twitter), Republican strategist Andrew Surabian celebrated Tuberville’s obstruction as courageous. His full post highlighted Sen. J.D. Vance’s (R-OH) pledge to similarly hold up Department of Justice nominations, writing, “A lot of Republicans talk a big game, but in the last 24 hours both @JDVance1 and @TTuberville have walked the walk and showed real courage against the swamp.” [Twitter/X, 11/2/23]
    • Townhall columnist and retired Army National Guard Col. Kurt Schlichter stated in a social media post that “Tuberville is right” to hold up military promotions. He added, “When will these Republicans understand that the military today is not the military is 25 years ago? Every single general needs very close vetting.” [Twitter/X, 11/1/23]
    • Former National Review staff writer Nate Hochman, who was fired from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign for promoting neo-Nazi imagery on social media, claimed that Tuberville was fighting “ideological corruption” within the military. His full post read, “It's true, of course, that ‘the military has a huge readiness and retention problem.’ But that problem is partially because of the ideological corruption of the institution — which is exactly what Senator Tuberville's holds on military promotions are intended to combat.” [New York magazine, 7/26/23, Twitter/X, 11/1/23]
    • In a social media post, far-right pundit Ann Coulter shared her Substack article criticizing the Department of Defense in support of Tuberville’s blockade. Her caption read, “What the f--k is the matter with Republicans? Why is Sen. Tuberville the only GOP who cares about this?” [Twitter/X, 11/1/23]
    • Daily Wire host Michael Knowles called Tuberville a “hero” for holding up military promotions. Knowles added that he thinks the government should not just “hold up promotions” for some in the military but “fire them.” [The Daily Wire, The Michael Knowles Show, 10/6/23]