Bradley Byrne: Jeff Sessions ‘doesn’t own this seat’ — ‘The seat belongs to the people of the state of Alabama’
Even though former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a U.S. Senate candidate for a month, there appears to still be some hard feelings regarding his entry into the race.
During an appearance on Birmingham radio Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) discussed a phone call he received from Sessions just before Sessions’ entry into the race asking Byrne to withdraw his U.S. Senate candidacy and run for reelection to the seat he currently occupies in Alabama’s first congressional district.
According to Byrne, Sessions told him he thought he was doing a great job as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and that Sessions still had a “couple of gallons” of gas left in his tank to serve in the U.S. Senate. Byrne explained how he declined Sessions’ request to co-hosts Andrea Lindenberg and Matt Murphy and argued against the merits of Sessions returning to the U.S. Senate.
“Look, Jeff Sessions served this state for 20 years in the United States Senate,” Byrne said. “I honor him for that service. But I don’t want somebody who is my senator that just has a couple of gallons left in the tank. And I don’t want somebody when President Trump needed him walked off the field. I mean, we’re in a fight up here. We’re going to be in a fight even after this impeachment vote. And we’ve got to have somebody with a full tank of gas that’s understanding the fight that we’re in, that’s willing to get up here and willing to fight every day, not just somebody who said, ‘I just had 20 years. I’d kind of like to go back and get my seat.’ That’s not enough for the vast majority of people in this state.”
Byrne emphatically argued Sessions did not “own” the seat and downplayed his chances at winning an election for that seat.
“I hate to say this about my friend Jeff Sessions, but I think he believes he owns this seat,” he said. “And he’s calling everybody — ‘Look, I own this seat. I’m coming to get my seat back.’ Well, he doesn’t own this seat. The seat belongs to the people of the state of Alabama. And I did tell Jeff in the conversation, I said, ‘Look Jeff, this is a race. You’re going to have to get in it. We have a forum in Greenville, Alabama,’ which he did not show up for. He doesn’t own this seat. He’s going to have to go out and fight for it. I’m one of the people he’s going to have to push out of the way to get it.”
“I don’t think he’s going to win,” Byrne added. “Talking to people, as I’ve been talking to people around the state — I get one of two responses about him. One is they’re angry at him. The other is they say, ‘Why is he running?’ I like Jeff. He’s my friend. I’m not going to disavow him as my friend. I’m not going to act like I don’t respect him. I do. You’ve got to know when your time is up and his time is up.”