WASHINGTON — As Tuesday marks primary day in Alabama’s special election to fill the seat vacated by former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, President Trump has endorsed Sen. Luther Strange for U.S. Senate over “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore.
“Big day in Alabama. Vote for Luther Strange, he will be great!” he tweeted early Tuesday.
“Luther Strange of the great state of Alabama has my endorsement. He is strong on border & wall, the military, tax cuts & law enforcement,” Trump likewise posted on Monday.
Trump had issued a similar endorsement last week, writing, “Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the great state of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!”
Strange thanked the president for his support this morning, responding, “Thank you again @realDonaldTrump for your endorsement and confidence! So proud to work with you to #MAGA & #BuildTheWall #ALsen.”
However, word that Trump had endorsed Strange drew criticism, including from conservative radio host Mark Levin. He noted that Rep. Mo Brooks and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore would be, in his opinion, acceptable choices for the seat rather than Strange.
“We actually have a shot of nominating a conservative in Alabama and winning that seat,” he said on his Wednesday radio broadcast. “And yesterday Donald Trump endorses Mitch McConnell, Karl Rove and this guy, Jeff Roe’s candidate, Luther Strange. Now President Trump can’t have it both ways. He can’t claim to be an outsider when he acts and embraces the insiders.”
“And the president of the United States didn’t have to do that. He could have stayed out of it, but he didn’t. He put his finger on the scale,” Levin stated.
As previously reported, National Right to Life also endorsed Strange earlier this month, disappointing some pro-life Americans who fervently support Moore.
“National Right to Life is pleased to endorse Senator Luther Strange, whose position on life reflects the true values of Alabama’s voters,” Karen Cross, the organization’s political director, said in a statement on Aug. 3. “Senator Strange has a 100 percent pro-life voting record in the 115th Congress, including votes to confirm Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“And you know why [they endorsed Strange]? Because Judge #RoyMoore wants to abolish abortion while #StrangeLuther wants to keep that old pro-life wagon a-rolling along,” one commenter remarked as a result.
However, a number of other prominent entities have endorsed Moore, including “Texas Ranger” actor and martial artist Chuck Norris, who likewise supported Moore in his 2012 run for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
“Judge Roy Moore is the real deal,” he said in a statement last week. “He’s tough, tested, and has a spine of steel. … Judge Moore has never backed down from standing for what is right, and that’s exactly what he’ll do in the U.S Senate. That’s why the Washington establishment is spending millions trying to defeat Judge Moore.”
Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson have likewise endorsed Moore, as have 50 pastors across the state of Alabama, including Jim Nelson of Church of the Living God in Moulton, Steve Sanders of Victory Baptist Church in Millbrook, Bill Snow of Edgewood Church in Anniston, Bruce Jenkins of Young’s Chapel in Piedmont, Paul Hubbard of Lakeview Baptist Church in Montgomery and Myron Mooney of Trinity Free Presbyterian Church.
“From the pulpit to hospital rooms, from wedding altars to the funeral home, from the Capitol to our prisons, we are called to serve Jesus Christ in every area of life. With our calling comes a responsibility to address such compelling cultural issues as the special election for United States Senate,” they wrote in a statement.
“We have the opportunity this Tuesday, August 15, to send a man to Washington who shares our convictions, will fight for morality, and will restore integrity in the halls of Congress. That man is Judge Roy Moore.”
Moore has consistently led in the polls and the latest poll showed him ahead by eight points.
“I resent people from Washington, raising money in Washington, and sending negative ads to Alabama and trying to control the vote of the people,” Moore told Politico following a recent GOP executive committee meeting. “If the Washington crowd wants somebody, the people of Alabama generally don’t.”