The cavalry has arrived in Alabama. Literally.
The Great America Alliance, an organization that hosted a number of events backing President Donald Trump last year in his successful bid to defeat Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, is hitting the ground in Alabama with a bus tour for Judge Roy Moore and a series of events and television ads to back up the top conservative candidate. This development is yet another crushing blow to the failing campaign of Washington establishment-backed Luther Strange, who an ex-White House official from the Trump administration and campaign told Breitbart News is a “swamp monster” who must be “vanquished.”
In a press release announcing the bus tour and television ads, Andy Surabian—until a couple weeks ago a top Trump White House official who previously served in a senior Trump campaign position during last year’s election—lit into Strange and praised Moore.
“The momentum and enthusiasm is clearly on Judge Moore’s side as Alabama voters realize that ever since Senator Strange was appointed to his seat by disgraced former Governor Robert Bentley, he has been more aligned with the special interests of the DC swamp than the interests of Alabama,” Surabian, who is now a Senior Adviser to the Great America Alliance, says in the release. “In order to truly drain the DC swamp, we must reject Mitch McConnell’s hand-picked yes-men in favor of those who truly back President Trump’s America First Agenda. Judge Moore has proven to be a fearless leader for Alabama and we are confident that he will never buckle in the fight to help President Trump Make America Great Again.”
The release also includes two new video advertisements, one of which exposes Strange for the swamp creature he is, and the other which praises Moore’s conservative accomplishments.
The one bashing Strange opens with video of the Capitol, and text on screen notes that Washington, D.C., was “built on a swamp.”
“Luther Strange is part of that swamp,” the next screen reads, with a photo of Strange.
The ad then cuts to video of disgraced former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley brazenly admitting that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was involved in the appointment of Strange into the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now former Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) when he was appointed to lead the Justice Department. It is significant that this advertisement includes video of Bentley because Strange’s campaign woes are due in large part to how he was appointed into the Senate seat by Bentley in the first place. Strange was the attorney general of Alabama and was investigating Bentley for a corruption and sex scandal that eventually forced Bentley to resign. But Strange asked the Alabama legislature to hold off on impeachment proceedings, and then Bentley appointed Strange into the U.S. Senate seat—before Bentley ultimately resigned.
“I talked with Mitch McConnell,” Bentley says in the video. “And the first person that he actually mentioned was Luther Strange.”
The ad then cuts to a slide calling Strange “Big Time Lobbyist Luther Strange,” and then keeps playing audio of Bentley saying: “Luther is not a stranger in Washington.”
Strange was a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., for years.
The following slides in the ad note that Strange was “appointed by the swamp” and “disgraced former Governor Robert Bentley” and that Strange is “in the pocket of Mitch McConnell” and “not getting anything done for Alabama.”
“It’s time to Drain The Swamp,” the next slide reads, before the next one calls on Alabamians to “take your voice to Washington” and “vote for someone to represent you” and “on September 26th don’t let the swamp take over Alabama.”
WATCH GREAT AMERICA ALLIANCE’S FIRST ALABAMA AD:
The other ad, the pro-Moore one, starts with bobble heads of McConnell and Strange over the Capitol and a narrator saying “the D.C. Swamp will do and say anything to protect their own.”
“But Alabama is making their own choice,” the narrator continues, “choosing a history of military service, a record of fighting for conservative values, a dedication to standing up for Alabama. Judge Roy Moore isn’t the D.C. swamp’s choice. But he is Alabama’s choice.”
WATCH GREAT AMERICA ALLIANCE’S SECOND ALABAMA AD:
The new advertisements will originally run on a digital platform but are expected to—sources say—be followed by cable and broadcast buys on Alabama’s airwaves. The organization behind the ads has a history of putting its money where its mouth is, too, so the pro-Moore anti-Strange and anti-swamp effort will be well funded. “In 2016, the Great America PAC was the largest and most effective pro-Trump Super PAC, raising and deploying $30 million in support of the president’s candidacy,” the press release noted. “That same team now leads Great America Alliance, a 501(c)4 research and issue advocacy organization whose mission is to advocate for a stronger economy, a more secure nation, and a society with less government intrusion and more freedom for American citizens.”
But that’s not all the Great America Alliance is doing: They are also rolling out a statewide bus tour in the final days of the campaign, which is soon as election day is just two weeks away.
“The Alliance is also planning to barnstorm the state with a bus tour the final weekend of campaign, featuring high profile conservatives to rally grassroots support for Judge Moore,” the press release stated. At least one major nationally known conservative VIP is likely to join the tour, sources tell Breitbart News. Exact details and dates on the bus tour are forthcoming, they add.
Surabian, the ex-White House aide for President Trump who is now a senior adviser to the Great America Alliance, added in an exclusive quote for Breitbart News that Strange must be defeated for Americans to succeed in draining the swamp and achieving the Trump agenda.
“Big time lobbyist Luther Strange is the exact type of swamp monster that Trump supporters across the country and throughout Alabama want vanquished from Washington, D.C.,” Surabian told Breitbart News.
While President Trump endorsed Strange in the first round of voting before Aug. 15 in a multi-way GOP primary, he has essentially withdrawn his support for the lagging senator while Strange suffers badly in the polls and Moore towers over him with double digit leads in most polls. Strange has been desperate to get a hold of Trump, and drag the president into Alabama to bail him out, but it’s not even clear that would save Strange’s faltering campaign. Trump has not said anything publicly to back up Strange since the primary’s first round. He only endorsed Strange to beat back Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) in the first round of voting since Brooks said nasty things about him during the 2016 GOP presidential primaries when Brooks was supporting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over Trump. Unlike Strange–who never supported President Trump–Brooks eventually came around and backed Trump in the general election.
Moore, on the other hand, was praised by Trump in a Tweet after the first round of voting–a Tweet that praised both Moore and Strange.
Congratulation to Roy Moore and Luther Strange for being the final two and heading into a September runoff in Alabama. Exciting race!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
On Tuesday, White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said the president stands by his endorsement of Strange.
Marc Short at just-concluded @csmonitor bkfst: "The president has endorsed Luther Strange and he continues to stand by that endorsement"
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) September 12, 2017
But then later in the day White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked the same question and she declined to say the president still supports Strange.
“Again, the President has liberties that I don’t, and legally I’m not allowed to comment on specific political elections that are ongoing. So I’m not going to weigh into that conversation,” Sanders said when asked about whether the president does in fact still support Strange.
It appears that Trump has, as Breitbart News and other outlets like the Washington Post have confirmed, withdrawn his support for Strange for now. With election day just two weeks away, and all the momentum behind Moore while Strange can’t catch a break anywhere despite all the money lined up behind him, that things are going from bad to worse for Strange.