A Trump campaign “robocall” promoting Sen. Luther Strange’s (R-AL) campaign rally with President Donald Trump Friday does not even mention the senator’s name, according to a report by Huntsville ABC affiliate WAAY.
“This special rally event featuring President Donald Trump” is the only thing Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, reportedly said of the rally.
The rally was already moved to Friday from Saturday, when it would have competed opposite a rally for Strange’s special election rival, former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore. Trump, as Strange pointed out 28 times at Thursday’s debate, has endorsed him in the race.
The apparent snub to Strange comes after White House sources expressed concerns this week that attendance for the rally will fall well short of what Trump came to expect in the Yellowhammer State during the 2016 campaign. The same sources identified lackluster support for Strange as a possible damper on crowd size, suggesting the robocalls omitting Strange may be an attempt to conceal from Trump supporters the purpose of the rally so they might attend.
“We have concerns that there may not be a high amount of turnout at the rallies for Strange, and we are concerned that some of those that may show up may be there to shout pro-Roy Moore slogans–or that they just want to see the president and vice president but still plan to vote for Roy Moore,” a White House aide told Breitbart News. “Translating this into votes for Luther Strange is going to be very difficult, if not impossible.”
On at least one occasion in 2016, the Madison rally in February, Trump claimed a crowd of more than 30,000.
After the February 2016 rally in nearby Madison, Trump told attendees the crowd was upwards of 30,000:
THANK YOU ALABAMA! 32,000 supporters tonight. Get out & VOTE on Tuesday! WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/rOkldN7dat
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 29, 2016
Friday’s rally with Strange will be held at Huntsville’s 9,000-seat Von Braun Center.
Dean Young, the host of Roy Moore’s rival rally in rural Washington County Saturday, already took the extraordinary step of inviting President Trump to attend their rally in addition to the Huntsville one, despite his endorsement of Strange. The White House has, so far, made no indication Trump plans to take Young up on his offer.
When asked by WAAY reporters, the Strange campaign claimed no knowledge of the Lara Trump robocalls, while Trump’s team had yet to respond.