A war of words is brewing in Alabama’s U.S. Senate primary between the two leading Republican candidates vying to finish Jeff Sessions’ term – incumbent Luther Strange and Rep. Mo Brooks.
Strange, appointed to the Senate seat in February by then-Gov. Robert Bentley, is working hard to hang the “never Trump” tag on Brooks, most recently with a mailer blasting the Huntsville Republican, as well as new 30-second video, which proudly proclaims Strange as a “Trump man.”
At issue were comments Brooks made during the 2016 presidential primary season, where he told MSNBC: “Trump voters are going to regret their votes.” He then gave somewhat tepid support for Trump as a nominee: “Voters sure are facing some tough choices in November, aren’t they?” (Although he did later admit he would vote for Trump in November.)
Brooks responds to the latest attacks by returning fire, accusing Strange of refusing to give any evidence that Strange has supported the president during the 2016 primary or general election.
Brooks says he has become one of the strongest defenders of both Trump and his agenda, telling Breitbart News in an interview Wednesday that his lack of support was just “another lie from Big Lyin’ Luther.”
“Luther Strange, and the DC swamp, are desperate because Alabama voters do not like and do not trust Luther Strange,” Brooks said. “Voters know Strange acted unethically when he sought Governor Bentley’s appointment to the Senate while holding the threat of criminal prosecution over Bentley’s head. That’s why they are running this ad, that’s why Big Lyin’ Luther’s DC handlers are hiding him, that’s why he is avoiding debates and only doing carefully controlled media appearances.”
Breitbart also reached out to Alabama Trump campaign co-chair Ed Henry, who called Strange’s attacks on Brooks “complete B.S.”
“It disgusts me that someone like Luther Strange who never picked any side, who laid back and waited for all the dust to clear then comes out and tries to pretend like he supported Donald Trump,” Henry said. “It’s just completely disingenuous and it’s exactly the kind of people we don’t need in Washington, D.C. I want somebody who’s willing to speak their mind, state their opinion, stand behind it and move forward from that point and that’s who Mo is. Mo Brooks has very strong character.”
While Brooks supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during the primary, he says he back Trump in the general election, and donated to the Trump campaign with a $2,500 check to the AL GOP National Account in Oct. 2016.
Strange and Brooks are part of a crowded 10-person field for the Aug. 15 GOP primary. A runoff, if necessary, will be Sept. 26; the general election is Dec. 12.