Early Donald Trump attacks could hurt Mo Brooks in U.S. Senate race

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During the 2016 GOP presidential primary, Congressman Mo Brooks called then-candidate Donald Trump a “serial adulterer,” only offering tepid support for him in the general election.

Brooks, now in the middle of a contentious Republican primary for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions – a key supporter of the president –  could struggle because of those attacks on Trump, who won Alabama by nearly 30 points.

In the past, Alabama Republicans have turned on GOP lawmakers they see as anti-Trump.

Brooks, who is looking to defeat incumbent Sen. Luther Strange to serve the rest of Sessions’ term, could be called to task for his past comments on Trump.

The Hill notes that Brooks’ remarks could hurt him in the race against Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, well-known for his high-profile religious liberty battles.

But in an interview with The Hill, Brooks downplayed Trump attacks, saying they were to support for Sen. Ted Cruz’s unsuccessful presidential bid.

“When I’m in combat, a political fight, I use all weapons at my disposal, as I’m sure all of the candidates do,” Brooks said. “Once the fight was over with, it was important for our nominee to win the election.”

Brooks added: “I’m not going to rehash the arguments I used to try to persuade voters to vote for the candidate of my choice in the primary, Ted Cruz. I will say, right now, Donald Trump is a vastly superior choice to the alternative of Hillary Clinton.”

However, that’s a significantly different tone than February 2016, when Brooks told MSNBC a day before the Super Tuesday primaries: “I think what you are going to see 12 to 18 months from now is that a lot of people who have supported Donald Trump, they are going to regret having done so.”

“I don’t support people who support adultery, and I don’t trust people who are serial adulterers, as Donald Trump has been and bragged about in writing because I don’t think that is an honorable thing or trait in a person,” he added.

Nevertheless, since Trump’s victory, Brooks has become an outspoken supporter.

In a speech on the House floor a few weeks after the election, Brooks defended Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

“A circus of left-wing media pundits immediately pounced on President-elect Trump’s opinion in an effort to silence serious discussion of the noncitizen voter fraud problem,” Brooks said.

This change of heart may not be enough to sway Alabama voters, who already sent a message to Republican U.S. Rep. Martha Roby.

Roby had also called for Trump to step aside after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape where he makes lewd comments about grabbing women.

Although Roby eventually won re-election, it was by only nine points – a much narrower margin than expected for her heavily-Republican district, which Trump won by 32 points.

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2 Comments

  1. Mo Brooks has been and will always be an independent conservative force on Capitol Hill. Those two descriptives are important to remember. First, there was significant reason to question President Trump’s true colors during the primary campaign and Mo chose to support the sure-fire conservative choice at that time. And as Mo says, that support requires fair, but aggressive treatment of one’s opposition. The president’s a big boy and will be fine. Secondly, Mo will never be afraid to act independent of the “swamp” lapping at the heals of good governance and to the extent that the president is serious in draining it we can be assured that Mo will be supportive. However, if the swamp becomes too much of a burden for the president and Senate and House leadership, then we can count on Mo to continue the fight, alone if necessary, which we can be certain the current occupant of Sessions seat would never consider.

    • Did Brooks wholeheartedly support Trump after Trump won the nomination or did he crawfish like Roby and Byrne?

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