President Trump on Wednesday warned Republican voters in Alabama about the importance of next year’s U.S. Senate election amid reports that former Chief Justice Roy Moore — whose loss to Democrat Doug Jones in 2017 sent shock waves through the GOP — may run again in 2020.
“Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama,” the president tweeted. “This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two.”
Trump endorsed Moore and defended him in the lead-up to the 2017 special election, even as other Republicans kept their distance after multiple women came forward accusing Moore of pursuing sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
The president made clear his advice Wednesday was about Moore’s electability — not the allegations.
“I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win,” Trump explained on Twitter. “But he didn’t, and probably won’t.”
The president added: “If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating....Judges and Supreme Court Justices!”
Trump’s warning came a day after Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., who entered the U.S. Senate race in February, told The Hill he expects Moore to announce his candidacy in June.
“I think people are very concerned that we Republicans lost a U.S. Senate seat because he was our nominee in 2017,” Byrne said. “And we don’t need to do that again.”
Moore responded to Byrne on Twitter.
Jones’s upset victory over Moore in December 2017 roiled Republicans. Alabama had not voted for a Democrat in a Senate race in 25 years.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, blasted Moore on Tuesday night.
“You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA,” Trump Jr. tweeted. “If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it’s time to ride off into the sunset, Judge.”
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