Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) took an apparent swipe at two former advisers to President Trump — Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka — in the Alabama Senate primary debate Thursday, in which he accused opponent Judge Roy Moore of having supporters who “look like the unemployment line at the White House.”
Strange, the choice of the Republican establishment, has clung tightly to President Trump and exhaustively mentioned that Trump had backed him in the race. Moore, on the other hand, spent much of the debate attacking Strange for connections to the D.C. swamp.
Moore said that Trump is being “misdirected” by people in Washington, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who does not support Trump’s “America First” agenda. He appeared to be referring to reports that Trump had been reluctant to back Strange but had been persuaded to do so by establishment Republicans who are worried that a Strange defeat could have a domino effect in other parts of the country.
Strange saw red and claimed that Moore revealed a “total misunderstanding” of the president and his character.
”To suggest the President of the United States and the head of the free world — the man who is changing the world — is being manipulated by Mitch McConnell is insulting to the president, it’s absolutely insulting,” Strange said. “That’s why he’s chosen me, [because] he’s not being manipulated by anyone.”
While it is understandable that Strange would back the president, considering much of his campaign rests on the president’s support, he then took a cheap shot at Moore’s support, which includes grassroots heroes such as Sarah Palin and Sebastian Gorka. Both Gorka and Palin were scheduled to speak at a campaign rally for Moore after the debate.
“As a matter of fact, many of the people who are supporting you look like the unemployment line at the White House, they’re fired, they’re not there and there’s a reason for that — the president is his own man,” he said.
The remark was an apparent reference not only to Gorka but also to former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon — who left the White House in August shortly before Gorka, and has since returned to his post as Executive Chairman of Breitbart News. Breitbart has covered the Alabama Senate race at length and has been vital in pointing out Strange’s establishment backing as well as the issues at which he is at odds with Trump’s base.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY