GOP Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville says Trump has 'put a noose' around farmers' necks with trade war

GOP Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville says Trump has 'put a noose' around farmers' necks with trade war

Former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville, a Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, offered praise for President TrumpDonald John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE in a Tuesday interview, but sharply criticized his trade war, saying it's hurting American farmers.

"You know, there’s no bigger supporter of President Trump, even though he’s putting a noose around their neck a little bit in terms of choking them out and keeping that price down," Tuberville said on The Matt Murphy radio show on Alabama station 99.5. "And they’re not making the money. And I just hope that we get this thing over with because they’re great people."

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The comments from Tuberville, one of the Republicans seeking to unseat Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), came as he discussed the endorsement he received from the Alabama Farmers Federation last week.

"They do a great job. They love this country," Tuberville said. "I decided when I got into this race, I was going to hit as many farmer federation meetings — which there are 67 counties, and there are 67 get-togethers, I tried to hit them all. I met a lot of great people. Was around a lot of people that really care about this state and country. And they’re hurting right now about the tariffs."

Tuberville's campaign did not immediately return The Hill's request for further comment on his remarks. 

The longstanding trade dispute between the Trump administration and China has crippled many farming communities throughout the U.S.

Soybean, pork, corn and other agricultural products have traditionally been among the top exports to China. But the Chinese government imposed duties on those goods in 2018 after Trump announced tariffs on Chinese products. 

Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueFrom state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA Overnight Energy: Trump administration issues plan to reverse limits on logging in Tongass National Forest| Democrats inch closer to issuing subpoenas for Interior, EPA records| Trump's plan to boost ethanol miffs corn groups and the fossil fuel industry Trump administration issues plan to reverse limits on logging in Tongass National Forest MORE acknowledged to CNN earlier this year that American farmers were one of the "casualties" of the trade dispute between the countries. 

"We knew going in that when you flew the penalty flag on China, the retaliation, if it came, would be against the farmer," Perdue said.

The president has moved to offer aid to farmers impacted by the trade war. The administration in late May announced a new $16 billion aid package that would provide direct payments to help farmers make up for losses resulting from retaliatory tariffs. 

The Republican Alabama Senate primary so far includes Tuberville, Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneGOP seeks to gain more control of impeachment narrative GOP Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville says Trump has 'put a noose' around farmers' necks with trade war Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 MORE (R-Ala.), Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R) and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreMontgomery, Ala., elects first African American mayor GOP Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville says Trump has 'put a noose' around farmers' necks with trade war Sen. Doug Jones launches reelection bid in Alabama MORE

Tuberville, who enjoyed a decorated career as a college football coach, hasn't shied from voicing criticism of the president amid the campaign. In August, he said he was "pissed off" Trump wasn't doing more to address health care for veterans. 

“I’m pissed off at Donald Trump that our vets can’t get health care,” Tuberville said, according to the Alabama politics website Yellowhammer. “And if I ever get to see him, I’m going to tell him that. You said you were going to fix it and it ain’t fixed.”