Political News

Trump, GOP make late push to save Strange in Alabama Senate primary

Posted August 14

President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are making a major last-minute push to save Sen. Luther Strange in Tuesday's three-way primary here.

Strange is trying to finish in the top two -- and make sure none of his other challengers top 50% of the vote -- to advance to a primary runoff in the race to fill out the rest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Senate term.

But GOP strategists involved in the race tell CNN that the controversial former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is likely to secure a spot in th runoff and could approach 50% of the vote. Rep. Mo Brooks, meanwhile, is attempting to damage Strange by exploiting Strange's two politically problematic links: to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and to former Gov. Robert Bentley, who appointed Strange, then the state's attorney general, to fill Sessions' seat until the special election just before Bentley was ousted amid a sex scandal.

Trump tweeted an endorsement of Strange for the second time Monday morning.

"Luther Strange of the Great State of Alabama has my endorsement. He is strong on Border & Wall, the military, tax cuts & law enforcement," the President said.

Trump also recorded a robo-call urging Alabama Republicans to "go out and vote for Luther Strange for Senate," adding that "it is so important that you do."

"He is helping me in the Senate and is going to get the tax cuts for us. He's doing a lot of things for the people of Alabama and for the people of the United States," Trump said in the robo-call.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee also made a late $200,000 buy to air pro-Strange television ads Monday as the race entered its final hours.

"The President's endorsement says it all," Strange told CNN on Monday after an event at Salem's Diner in Birmingham. "The people of Alabama want someone who will support the President's agenda. That's what I'm running on, and for him to say he wants me in Washington as a partner is a critical factor."

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