Wednesday on SiriusXM’s “Breitbart News Daily,” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) reacted to President Donald Trump’s endorsement of his opponent Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in next week’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate.
Trump made his endorsement via Twitter late on Tuesday, which came as a shock to many political observers.
Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
Brooks told “Breitbart News Daily” host Raheem Kassam his campaign had some momentum headed into next Tuesday’s vote and that he was baffled by Trump’s “error in judgment.”
“We were surging past Luther Strange,” Brooks said. “Our most recent data yesterday had us in front of Luther Strange for the first time since Luther Strange began this real hard, negative carpet bombing of my reputation throughout the state of Alabama and he expanded that attack against Roy Moore, another potential winner of this Republican primary.”
“I’m very baffled that President Trump endorsed Luther Strange,” he added. “I believe he made an error in judgment. I suspect that is probably because some of these swamp critters, as we call them, Mitch McConnell didn’t share the full picture with the president, so the president was operating on bad data.”
According to Brooks, the “bad data” on which Trump was operating included Strange’s appointment to the U.S. Senate by now-former Gov. Robert Bentley, a target of a criminal investigation at the time by Strange while serving as Alabama’s attorney general.
Brooks also mentioned political contributions Strange received for his help in attempting to block the Environmental Protection Agency effort to force a designated polluter to pay for cleanup costs of a Birmingham Superfund site and what he claimed to be Strange’s opposition to ending the filibuster rule outright in the U.S. Senate.
“There are a lot of things that I suspect the swamp or Mitch McConnell presented to the president in a one-sided fashion that resulted in an endorsement that really was not wise,” Brooks added.
Brooks said the Trump endorsement was not only a win for Strange but one for McConnell as the GOP leader of the U.S. Senate.
“No one in Alabama who is into politics can understand why President Trump did what he did just on the surface of it,” he said. “So, there must be something subsurface. Certainly, your conjecture is part of what’s been bandied about. Nobody knows for sure, but I think the big point is … if you go to Washington, DC to drain the swamp, what sense does it make to then align yourself with it?”
“It’s a big win for Mitch McConnell,” he continued. “Mitch McConnell was kind of on the ropes. We were looking at new Senate leadership.”
As for what this means in Alabama and for his race, Brooks said time would tell. However, he also mentioned Trump’s public statements about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a very popular U.S. senator in Alabama, and said Alabamians were “puzzled” by some of Trump’s actions.
“There’s been a backlash in the state of Alabama, so far,” Brooks said. “Now, it’s only been out there for about 12 or 13 hours. I don’t know how deep the backlash is, but on the one hand, President Trump is fairly popular in the state of Alabama. On the other hand, equally baffling, was how he used Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a piñata, swinging in the breeze and hitting him time after time after time with insult after insult after insult.”
“So, we in Alabama — we’re puzzled by the attacks in public, embarrassing Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the one hand by President Trump, followed now with the endorsement of a United States senator who is polling in the 20s and has horrible negatives and was about to be ousted, which would have been a wonderful thing for the Trump agenda.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor