Tuberville’s stalling on military assurances draws initial criticism from a Republican presidential candidate
Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has become the first female Republican presidential candidate to criticize Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama’s ban on nominations for top military leaders.
Haley said the Pentagon’s policy of compensating employees who travel for abortions – a source of Tuberville’s ire – is misguided, but asserted that Tuberville’s play had negative implications for the military.
“I appreciate what Tuberville is trying to do. I do. It seems completely wrong for the Department of Defense to do this. But have we reached this level of degradation that we have to stop it this way?” she said on Hugh Hewitt Radio Show Tuesday.
“There must be other ways to do it,” the candidate told Hoyt.
Haley cited the fact that in June her husband was sent to Djibouti to support Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa.
“For my husband who is serving overseas, and for all of these military men and women, the idea that this is what they look at and see, this is what they deal with plus the stress of keeping themselves safe and being away from their families, that’s wrong,” Haley said.
“They are, you know, spreading these promotions and using them as fodder,” she added.
Introducing former President Donald Trump at a $250 per ticket GOP fundraiser in Montgomery, Alabama, on Friday, Tuberville said Trump had had a “tough week” and urged those in attendance to “get behind him.” Neither Trump nor Tuberville mentioned the Tuberville gambit in the Senate.
Healy’s running mate, a South Caroline native, Senator Tim Scott, the only Senate colleague Tuberville is running for the nomination, did not offer comment.
The public appearances of both Haley and Trump offer insight into how the candidates vying to become commander-in-chief would hypothetically deal with the embargo if they made the same military appointments to the same vacancies that President Joe Biden is currently trying to fill.
Senate Democrats have long urged Republicans to settle the matter internally. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, called on Republicans to develop a “temporary, highly targeted change in process” to start moving the military nominations.
“Maybe when we come back in September there will be some openness to creative solutions [because] Tuberville will not back down. “He believes he has become a popular folk hero on the alt-right,” said the Connecticut Democrat.
Murphy said that despite initial optimism about the lifting of the blockade, he had since come to the conclusion that Tuberville was “ready to burn the army”.
Murphy said: “I think everyone was hoping that Senator Tuberville back down, and I think we have to come to the conclusion that this is not happening and he is ready to burn the army.” hill.
The Pentagon is scrambling to counter what Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the “cascading effect” of “unprecedented and sweeping control”. Austin said in a memo last week that the blockade “increasingly disrupts the normal operations of this Department and undermines our military readiness and national security.”
Austin recommended that lower-ranking officers be allowed to command organizations normally commanded by a four-star general or admiral in his representative capacity “in exceptional cases”.
Phone calls between Tuberville and Austin on the matter have so far been fruitless.
As of July 26, Tuberville has received 273 senior military nominations. These include the most senior military officers in the Marine Corps and Army. Next week, the Navy’s top officer will join the list, and at the end of September, the nominee to replace Gen. Mark Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — the nation’s highest-ranking military officer — will face Senate scrutiny. .
Senate Armed Services Committee reports 650 officers will need Senate approval by the end of the year and 110 will have to perform two jobs simultaneously.
And the Senate will return from its August recess with renewed pressure to overcome the blockade, which will enter its ninth month in September.
ABC News’ Allison Pechorin and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com