Sessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines

Sessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines
© Greg Nash

Former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSupreme Court blocks order that relaxed voting restrictions in Alabama Justice Dept. considering replacing outgoing US attorney in Brooklyn with Barr deputy: report Tuberville campaign bus catches fire in Alabama MORE has accepted an invitation from "Fox News Sunday" to a virtual primary debate, but his opponent, former Auburn football head coach Tommy Tuberville, has declined, a source close to the show told The Hill.

The program, anchored by Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceDC delegate: Congress took up police reform due to 'impatience in the streets' Activist: Stop vilifying protesters and try to understand why they are fighting Ex-CDC director: 'No doubt' coronavirus 'has the upper hand' MORE, has given the Tuberville campaign until Wednesday to accept the invitation, also according to the source.

The Hill has reached out to the Tuberville campaign for comment.

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Tuberville, who is backed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE in the primary, has resisted debating Sessions in any format to this point.

In March, a planned debate hosted by CBS-affiliated WKRG in Mobile, Ala., and four other Nexstar Broadcasting sister stations in Alabama had scheduled a debate between the two candidates, with Tuberville ultimately deciding not to participate.

Tuberville won the 33.4 percent of the vote to Sessions’s 31.7 percent in the first round on March 3, forcing a runoff that was pushed back to July 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump, who won the state by 27 points over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats try to turn now into November The Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump On The Trail: Trump, coronavirus fuel unprecedented voter enthusiasm MORE in 2016, has been highly critical of Sessions since he recused himself in the Russia investigation, which eventually led to the appointment of former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE.

An independent poll from Cygnal in May showed Tuberville leading Sessions, 55 percent to 32 percent.