Matthew Whitaker and Sen. Tommy Tuberville Talk Football, Education, and How Republicans Are Resisting Progressives at CPAC 2023

Former acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) spoke at the Conservative Political Action Committee’s 2023 conference on March 2, discussing their origin stories, education, and progressive ideology.

The pair started by talking about their shared history in football due to Whitaker’s history as a player and Tuberville’s former coaching position.

Whitaker began by lauding Tuberville as a “true conservative,” while Tuberville described the current state of affairs in the U.S. Senate as a “clown world.” They discussed a range of topics, including the issue of indoctrination in education. Whitaker cited woke, critical race theory, and the 1619 Project as examples of ideologies that he believes are damaging to students.

Tuberville said part of his reason for entering politics after leaving coaching was because of his background in education: “One of the reasons I ran is because the last 10-15 years, I saw the direction our country has gone because of what we’re doing in education,” he said.

Whitaker agreed, saying, “They’re trying to brainwash these kids at a very vulnerable age,” citing the outcry that was seen nationwide following the education bill in Florida that barred educators from teaching about progressive gender ideology. He suggested that education in this country should note how football is coached and return to the “basics” of education.

Tuberville was asked about how Republicans are pushing back against progressive ideology, to which he referred to progressives as “crazies.” He suggested that running for school board positions is an effective way to involve parents, particularly given the shift in ideology in schools today.

When asked about transgender athletes in sports, Tuberville argued that it was the left’s game plan, and it has caused him and many others to favor school choice. He claimed that kids should not be indoctrinated and discussed the importance of Title IX, citing over 20 championships won by transgender individuals playing in girls’ sports.

Epoch Times Photo
Matthew Whitaker, former acting U.S. Attorney General, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference 2020 (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservative Union in National Harbor, Washington, on Feb. 28, 2020. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Whitaker called for a revival in many parts of the country, including the education system. He emphasized the need for parents, grandparents, and those who care about pushing children forward to be re-engaged and for a return to the basics of faith and family. Tuberville agreed and argued that the attack on faith was causing a decline in family values.

The conversation then turned to college sports and the issue of allowing athletes to profit off their own image, citing the struggles faced by full-time students who also play highly competitive sports.

Whitaker discussed the recent Supreme Court decision allowing amateur players to profit and argued that this could help keep players in school. Tuberville agreed and revealed that he is working on a bill with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) to establish standards for name, image, and likeness (NIL) in college sports.

According to Tuberville, he and Manchin are the only two working on the legislation that they will then hope to turn over to the NCAA.

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