Luther Strange and Roy Moore camps both declare debate victory

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Luther Strange‘s campaign claimed victory Thursday following a debate against U.S. Senate opponent Roy Moore, saying the showdown made it clear that all Moore had to offer was “empty words.”

“While all Roy Moore had to offer was empty words, Big Luther demonstrated that he has the ideas and knowledge necessary to advance President Trump’s agenda to rebuild our economy and strengthen our country,” said campaign spokesman Cameron Foster. “Luther showed that he knows how to get things done for Alabama, and has what it takes to follow Jeff Sessions as a conservative leader in the U.S. Senate.”

Following suit, Moore also claimed victory in the Lincoln-Douglas-style debate saying Strange “became more desperate as the night went on. With little to present to the audience other than shameless namedropping of his Washington endorsements.”

The two went head to head — without a moderator —  in a debate that focused largely on who would best support President Donald Trump‘s agenda in Congress.

“The president supports me,” Strange said in his opening remarks. “Why would he do that? Because we’ve developed a close, personal friendship. We both come from the same background, the same mission, the same motivation to make this country great again.”

Trump took to Twitter Friday to reiterate the relationship between him and the Senator.

“Will be in Alabama tonight. Luther Strange has gained mightily since my endorsement, but will be very close. He loves Alabama, and so do I!”

Moore mocked Strange for trying to ride the president’s coattails.

“I can’t tell you what the president thinks, I can’t tell you every move he makes, when he goes to the bathroom and when he doesn’t,” Moore said decisively to laughs from the crowd.

Moore went on to point out Strange’s history as a Washington lobbyist.

“My entire political career has been serving the state of Alabama,” Moore said. “My opponent has been a professional lobbyist for over 20 years… you don’t drain the swamp of lobbyists by sending a lobbyist to the United States Senate.”

Strange and Moore face-off Tuesday, Sept. 26 in the runoff GOP primary election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate. The winner will go on to face Democrat Doug Jones in December.

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