The Republican primary for United States Senate seems to have transformed from a contest to determine opposition to Sen. Doug Jones to who could be the president of the Donald Trump Fan Club.
Former U.S. Attorney General and Senate member Jeff Sessions, Rep. Bradley Byrne and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville are spending millions of dollars to tell Alabamians why they are the best choice to lead our state into the future.
No…that statement is false. The top three candidates in this GOP Senate primary are spending millions of dollars to prove to voters across the state that they love and support the current president more than their opponents, basically ignoring any real issues or concerns in the process.
If pledging their allegiance to the president is the most important factor in this contest, maybe we should look at what Trump thinks about each of these candidates.
When Sessions entered into this race in November hoping to reclaim his old Senate seat, he bragged that he was the first senator to support Trump.
That may have been the case, but that relationship soured quickly once Sessions became AG. It was during that time when Trump mocked Sessions’ southern accent, calling him “weak” and “ineffective.” Trump also claimed he didn’t have an attorney general, calling Sessions “mixed up and confused.” In Bob Woodward’s book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” it is claimed that the president called Sessions a “dumb southerner” and “mentally retarded.”
Trump is also quoted as calling Sessions “scared stiff,” “missing in action,” “beleaguered,” “idiot” and “Mr. Magoo.”
Poor Sessions currently sounds like someone with Stockholm syndrome as he goes on and on about how much he supports Trump and will fight for him in the Senate. That’s great and wonderful, but it may be time for the former senator to seek some relationship counseling, because the president broke up with him a long time ago, and Trump has said nothing since Sessions jumped in this race to make anyone think that breakup isn’t permanent.
Byrne is currently a congressman representing south Alabama, and his record on supporting Trump is nearly 100 percent. We know that the president knows who Byrne is by a quote Trump gave at a White House event celebrating his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial when he singled out Byrne by saying, “Bradley Byrne, Alabama. What a great place. Thank you, Bradley.”
The only time Byrne has broken from support of the president was back in 2016 when the recording of Trump discussing where he likes to grab women was leaked. Byrne has even since backtracked on that criticism. Byrne did say that he and Trump had a great conversation at an Alabama football game in the fall, and the president supports him, but Trump hasn’t given him an endorsement.
Tuberville is the wild card in this race. Much like Trump, he doesn’t have a background in politics and seems to even lack a lot of knowledge on certain aspects of how to run the country, but he too has proclaimed to be the most Trump-like out of candidates for the Senate seat, even claiming the president was put into his position by divine intervention.
Trump hasn’t commented on Tuberville at all, and I would expect if the retired ball coach and myself walked into a room with the president that he wouldn’t know which one was which.
So who should a red-blooded, MAGA hat wearing conservative vote for in this election? The guy that Trump can’t stand? The guy who has supported Trump but doesn’t have an endorsement? The former football coach who may know less about government and civics than a second grader? Roy Moore?
I guess we shall see on Tuesday. And even then, it will probably come down to a runoff to find out who will undoubtedly defeat Jones in November.
James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or email@example.com.