Sunday, September 24, 2017

After He's Humiliated Tuesday, Trump Will Never Want To Set Foot In Alabama Again


The Women For Trump PAC is just the latest MAGA group to split from Señor Trumpanzee and embrace Roy Moore's overt fascism. Bretibart reported that "Women Vote Trump, the largest female-run PAC to support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, announced their endorsement of Judge Roy Moore for U.S. Senate on Friday, describing him as the “only candidate” who will stand up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell... 'At a time when Mitch McConnell and the DC swamp have been obstructionists to the President’s agenda, this election is about who is going to stand up to Mitch McConnell,' the statement continued. 'There is only one candidate who will do that, Judge Roy Moore.' Moore’s opponent, U.S. Senator Luther Strange, remains the choice of Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment. Strange also received the endorsement of Trump himself, much to the frustration of many Trump supporters. In recent weeks, the Senate Leadership Fund, a PAC affiliated with McConnell, has flooded the state with a series of false attack ads against Moore. During a debate between the two candidates on Thursday evening, Strange spent much of his time touting what he called his 'close, personal friendship' with the President and referred 28 times to the fact that Trump endorsed him over Moore. A poll released Friday shows Moore with an eight-point lead over Strange."

Breitbart also reported that Señor Trumpanzee was doing his best at the Huntsville rally Friday "to characterize Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) as a Washington outsider. 'He’s been in Washington for even less time than me. So he doesn’t know all these people he’s supposed to know,' Trump said. However, the characterization did not comport with reality. While Trump has lived in Washington, D.C. since January, Strange has spent eight years as a Washington, D.C. lobbyist for an Alabama-based gas utility company." In fact, every Bretibart top story but one was related to the Alabama Senate primary runoff coming on Tuesday. The biggest one of all was the silliest and most disparaging of Trumpanzee: Trump Claims Luther Strange Does Not Know Mitch McConnell, Despite Campaign Getting Millions from Him.

During a rally in support of Luther Strange’s election campaign, President Donald Trump attempted to distance any relationship between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Strange despite McConnell-linked money streaming into the race and a report that McConnell handpicked Strange for the seat.

“He’s not a friend of Mitch McConnell. He doesn’t know Mitch McConnell, until just recently,” Trump said of Strange at Friday night’s rally for Strange. He added that he wasn’t saying that as a bad comment about “Mitch, at all.” “He just got there,” Trump said of Strange. He stated that he once asked Strange how well he knows McConnell and Strange claimed that he had just met McConnell.

“In fact… he just came out against that totally ridiculous rule, the filibuster rule, that’s ridiculous,” said Trump of Strange. He spoke of the 52 Republicans in the U.S. Senate and the need to have 60 votes to pass much legislation in that governing body.

However, Strange has spent significant time In Washington, D.C., and as a registered lobbyist.

The New York Times reported in February on Strange’s previous work with D.C.-establishment operative Karl Rove and their meeting in the 1990s. The report notes Strange’s time as a D.C. lobbyist and work for “a white-shoe Birmingham law firm with deep ties to the establishment wing of the Republican Party.” The report also highlighted McConnell’s enthusiasm for Strange and that Strange is “no stranger to the swamp.”

Strange ran the Washington, D.C., government affairs office for Sonat before returning to Alabama to join the establishment-connected Birmingham law firm.

Questions also remain after Strange asked the state legislature to suspend an investigation into then-Gov. Robert Bentley, which it did. Bentley appointed Strange to Sessions’ Senate seat. The Governor “denied any impropriety in his selection” according to the Times.

Bentley has been extremely clear that McConnell sent him a message about appointing Strange to the Senate seat. “I went by his office, and the first person that he actually mentioned was Luther Strange,” said Bentley, according to the Times. “He named several people, but the first one that he mentioned was Luther Strange.”

Not only was Strange reportedly McConnell’s first pick, but the McConnell-linked Senate Leadership Fund PAC has dropped millions and millions of dollars into the race. Just days ago the PAC sunk yet another $830,000 into the race.

Despite the many millions dumped into the race to prop up Strange, he has continually trailed his GOP opponent Judge Roy Moore in the polls. A statewide FOX10/Strategy Research poll conducted before a Thursday night debate between Moore and Strange was released on Friday. It showed Moore still leading Strange, 54-46.
Tomorrow night Bannon and the kook from Duck Dynasty are headlining a rally for Moore in Fairhope, just outside of Mobile, and Hannity has announced on Fox that he will be interviewing Bannon, live, at the rally. I haven't been able to find any traces of Mercer money in this though. I wonder if they just laundered it through other groups or if Bannon failed to persuade the fascist-minded Mercers to write any checks for this one.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics' money is still flooding into the Alabama race just days before the vote. "Strange," they reported, "has raised $3.9 million and spent about $4.1 million as of Sept. 6, according to filings with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). The amount raised by his campaign more than doubles the $1.7 million then-Sen. Jeff Sessions received for his 2014 Senate bid. The majority of Strange’s financing has come from PACs, which make up 28.5 percent of his contributions, and large individual donors. Moore, on the other hand, has raised money predominantly from small and large individual donors with little to no support from PACs. According a Sept. 6 FEC filing, Moore’s campaign has raised $1.4 million and spent $1.1 million. As far as outside spending, the Solution Fund PAC has spent $54,000 in support of Moore while the Swamp Drainers Foundation and the Madison Project have spent $85,000 and $68,000 respectively in advertising and other communication materials against Strange."

McConnell's Senate Leadership Fund spent $733,000 bolstering Strange and $2.5 million attacking Moore, with whom he'll soon be serving. The NRA has spent over $1 million-- $874,000 in the last 2 weeks-- supporting Strange.

Friday, James Hohmann, offered an exhaustive last minute look at the race and Thursday's televised debate for Washington Post readers. He started by smirking that "If you took a shot of liquor every time Luther Strange name-dropped the president during a televised debate last night, you’d probably be too hammered to attend Donald Trump’s rally for him in Huntsville later today. Heck, depending on your tolerance, you might still be too hung over to go vote next Tuesday in the GOP runoff."
White House aides were deeply divided as recently as last week about whether Trump should risk humiliation by holding a rally for someone who trails in the polls.

After Strange had invoked him a few dozen times, Moore argued that the president was misled and manipulated into endorsing him by Senate Majority Leader McConnell. He noted that several of Trump’s former advisers have endorsed him, such as ex-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and former National Security Council aide Sebastian Gorka. “They know what President Trump stands for,” Moore said. “The problem is President Trump is being cut off in his office. He’s being redirected by people like McConnell, who do not support his agenda and will not support his agenda in the future. I think we need to go back and look at what’s going on.”

Strange feigned great umbrage at this line of attack and insisted that “it was not just a namby-pamby decision” when Trump chose to endorse him: “What you just said reveals a total lack of understanding of the president and of his character, and of his determination, and of his loyalty and of his friendship,” he replied. “I met Mitch McConnell about six or seven months ago. I’ve already stood up to him on many occasions. To suggest that the president of the United States, the head of the free world, a man who is changing the world, is being manipulated by Mitch McConnell is insulting to the president. It’s absolutely insulting to the president! That’s why he’s chosen me. He’s not being manipulated by anyone. As a matter of fact, many of the people who are supporting you look like the unemployment line at the White House. They were fired! They’re not there. There’s a reason for that: because the president is his own man. If anyone in this room... doubts that, that he can’t make up his mind without being influenced by someone, then you just misread the president. You just flat misread him!”

Moore ribbed Strange for how hard he sucks up to Trump. He noted that, as a registered lobbyist, Strange advocated for trade deals that Trump says are bad. He said that his opponent only endorsed blowing up the rules of the Senate so bills can pass with a simple majority after Trump called for it on Twitter. Then he attacked Strange for supporting Trump’s deal with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling.

“This race is not me against the president... It’s me against Luther Strange,” he said. “I can’t tell you what the president thinks. I can’t tell you every move he makes, when he goes to the bathroom and when he doesn’t!... I do know Mr. Strange has been a lobbyist. That’s what a lobbyist does... You don’t get rid of lobbyists in the swamp by sending them to the United States Senate.”

Threading a delicate needle, Moore simultaneously sought to link himself with Trump. The most amusing example came when he noted that Trump attended a military academy for high school that is not far from West Point, where he went. He praised the president’s ban on transgender troops in the military. “I said that even before he said it! I agree with him very much on that,” said Moore.

...In both his opening and closing statements at the debate, Strange called next week’s vote a referendum on Trump: “It will be a test of our state and our people: Are we going to support our president? … Are we going to make America great again?”

During a post-debate rally for Moore, Sarah Palin echoed the message that Trump is being co-opted. “The forgotten man and woman in this country, they stood up, and we beat the swamp. But, alas, 10 months later, guys, the swamp, it's trying to hijack this presidency,” said Palin, the 2008 GOP nominee for vice president. “The swamp is trying to steal the victory that we worked so long and hard for-- to steal the victory that a lot of us put our reputations on the line for. We voted to put America first, not the political elite that had ignored us for decades.”

Palin described Moore as being “deplorable before deplorable was cool”: “A vote for Judge Moore isn't a vote against the president. It is a vote for the people's agenda that elected the president... The president needs support to keep the promises that elected him. So we're sending Trump someone who has our back, not Mitch McConnell's... Make no mistake, 'Big Luther' is Mitch McConnell's guy!”

...The final rally speaker was Moore himself, who took the stage as ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ blared... Moore told his the crowd... how it's more important for ‘the country to be good again’ than for it to be great again.”
I wonder what McConnell said to persuade Trump to overtly support the swamp. And I wonder if we'll ever find out. Trump knows he fucked up with this. "I’ll be honest, I might have made a mistake," he told the crowd at one point during Friday night's loony rally. "If Luther doesn’t win they’re not going to say, we picked up 25 points in a short period of time. If his opponent wins, I’m going to be here campaigning like hell for him."

People have been asking me why we haven't taken a stand on the Democratic nominee, Doug Jones. He looks good on the issues and we did reach out to him-- a lot. But we never got any kind of a response at all. I've learned over the last decade or so that usually, when Democratic candidates don't respond to our attempts to contact them, there's a reason-- and it's not because they're too left-wing. Jones may be fine; but we have no way of knowing. I think he's probably counting on beating Moore (or Strange) by default. That's fine with me but that doesn't mean I'm sending him money or asking Blue America members to. These are the candidates we're supporting in the 2018 Senate races so far-- and we've talked to each and every one of them and we can vouch for each and every one of them without worrying they'll sell out when they get into office. But, yes, if I lived in Alabama, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to vote for Jones in December.

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At 6:39 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

The comics & TV shows are going to have a field day with this speech look for the GOP to lose some election races because of his missteps.


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