On Wednesday, U.S. Senate candidate Mo Brooks offered to quit the race.
However, there’s a catch: Alabama must reinstate Jeff Sessions to his old seat.
Brooks, the Huntsville Republican running for the seat now held by Luther Strange, is refusing to stay silent over the “public waterboarding” of Sessions, who stepped down as a senator to become Donald Trump’s Attorney General.
Brooks is facing a contentious GOP primary Aug. 15 as part of a 10-person field that includes Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Over the past week, Trump has openly questioned his attorney general’s judgment — particularly over his recusal over investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump told reporters he would have never of hired Sessions in the first place had the president had known Sessions would recuse himself soon after accepting the post.
“President Trump should raise his reservations with Attorney General Sessions privately, man to man, one-on-one, not publicly scorn a great man like this,” Brooks said in a statement Wednesday.
Calling Sessions “one of the greatest people Alabama has ever produced,” Brooks believes it is “okay” if Trump wants a new Attorney General, suggesting a “win-win” scenario for both Trump and Sessions.
“I offer to withdraw completely from the race for Senate if my other GOP opponents in this race will concur on the terms and conditions set forth in the accompanying ‘Resolution Reinstating Jeff Sessions as United States Senator,’” with a link to his campaign website.
“If all Republican candidates collectively agree to simultaneously withdraw from this race,” he continued, “then we clear the way for the Republican Party of Alabama to nominate Jeff Sessions to be the Republican nominee for the Dec. 12, 2017, general election.”
Brooks added that Sessions can then “return to the Senate where he has served us so well. President can then appoint whomever he wants as Attorney General.”
Whether that will happen is yet to be determined.
Nevertheless, for Alabama voters, the last day to apply for an absentee ballot in the special election is Aug. 10. If there is no primary winner — with 50 percent plus one — a runoff will be Sept. 26; the general election is Dec. 12.
Brooks full statement is below:
I make the following statement without prior discussion with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. I do so because I do not want to put him into a potentially difficult position.
I have known Jeff Sessions since 1994. He is a good friend, a former boss who appointed me to be a Special Assistant Attorney General, one of Alabama’s finest sons, and a great man who has served Alabama capably and honorably as a Senator and Attorney General (both for America and Alabama).
In my opinion, the two greatest public servants I have ever personally met and looked up to are President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
I was honored to receive Sessions’ endorsement the first time I ran for Congress in 2010. I have admired his courageous stands on immigration, the deficit and debt, on trade agreements, and his commitment to our America First agenda.
He is a patriot who cares deeply about his country and the rule of law.
I cannot remain silent about the treatment Jeff Sessions is receiving from President Trump. If the president has reservations about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that is okay. No two people agree all the time. But President Trump should raise his reservations with Attorney General Sessions privately, man to man, one-on-one, not publicly scorn a great man like this.
I support President Trump’s policies, but this public waterboarding of one of the greatest people Alabama has ever produced is inappropriate and insulting to the people of Alabama who know Jeff Sessions so well and elected him so often by overwhelming margins.
With that said, If President Trump wants a new Attorney General, he has that right. That is why today I am making the people of Alabama a “win-win” promise: a “win” for President Trump and a “win” for Jeff Sessions.
I offer to withdraw completely from the race for Senate if my other GOP opponents in this race will concur on the terms and conditions set forth in the accompanying “Resolution Reinstating Jeff Sessions as United States Senator.”
If all Republican candidates collectively agree to simultaneously withdraw from this race, then we clear the way for the Republican Party of Alabama to nominate Jeff Sessions to be the Republican nominee for the Dec. 12, 2017 general election. He can return to the Senate where he has served us so well. President can then appoint whomever he wants as Attorney General.
An added benefit is that if Jeff Sessions returns to the U.S. Senate, he re-enters the Senate with 20 years of seniority. That puts him in a compelling position to obtain key committee assignments and chairmanships, thereby empowering Jeff Sessions to best promote and protect the interests of Alabama and America … a Seniority power and ability none of the current candidates can match until 2037 at the earliest.
I have signed this resolution, and I call on my opponents, Luther Strange, Roy Moore, and the rest of the field to join me.
I recognize that President Trump is popular in Alabama. My closest friends and political advisers have told me to not side with Jeff Sessions, that it will cost me politically to do so. My response is simple: I don’t care. If this costs me politically, that’s fine but I am going to the right thing for Alabama and America.
I stand with Jeff Sessions.