Three weeks out from the special Republican primary for the remainder of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate term, sitting U.S. Sen. Luther Strange has his sights set on U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks.
The two Republicans, alongside former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, are in the top tier of candidates running for the seat and Moore looks to have carved out solid support from about 31 percent of Republicans according to a recent poll.
In the same poll, Strange was second place at 23 percent support, followed by Brooks at 21 percent. The other GOP candidates in the race all came in below 5 percent.
Given the large pool of Republicans running for the seat, no candidate is likely to win the Aug. 15 primary outright, which pits Strange and Brooks in a race for the No. 2 slot and a place in the Sept. 26 runoff to decide which GOP candidate is on the general election ballot.
Strange and his allies have come after Brooks in attack ads labeling the CD 5 Republican as a flip-flopper who is not resolute in supporting President Donald Trump, who has 55 percent support among Alabama voters according to a recent Gallup Poll.
One recent ad put out by the Senate Leadership Fund, a political committee controlled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that is backing Strange, tries to tie Brooks, a House Freedom Caucus member, to liberal lawmakers such as Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“They all attack Donald Trump, trying to stop him,” the ad narrator says of Brooks and the congressional Democrats, before playing a clip of Brooks saying: “I don’t think you can trust Donald Trump with anything he says.”
The ad also blasts Brooks for not endorsing Trump after he became the Republican presidential nominee last year. At the time, Brooks did say he would “vote for all Republicans on the ballot,” and called Trump “a better option than Hillary Clinton.”