Bradley Byrne: Jeff Sessions entry in U.S. Senate race ‘as pleasing to Doug Jones’ as Roy Moore’s entry
For the first time in a long time, perhaps decades, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions finds himself on the other end of attacks from Alabama’s Republican politicians.
Sessions, who has not faced a serious threat from a political rival since his 1996 race with then-State Sen. Roger Bedford, the Democrat nominee for U.S. Senate, announced his entrance into the 2020 race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), one of Sessions’ opponents in that contest, did not receive the news favorably. Byrne told Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” he anticipated problems for Sessions, Alabama’s former U.S. senator.
“Let me quote President Donald Trump about Jeff Sessions a few weeks ago – quote, ‘Jeff Sessions is an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama,’” Byrne said. “That is what you should expect with regard to Jeff Sessions for the next four months. That’s what he should expect. I don’t think that is going to be well for him. I think he is going to have a hard time with that.”
“[J]eff is just going to have to deal with this problem that he has got with the president,” Byrne added. “He either can or he can’t. … We have a forum in Greenville, Alabama, with all the candidates the Monday night before Thanksgiving, and I welcome him to that forum.”
According to Byrne, Sessions will be an easy target for his likely Democratic opponent, incumbent U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook).
“[T]hey’re going to use Jeff as a whipping tool against the president,” he said. “I don’t know if you saw the reaction of Doug Jones. He’s gleeful because Jeff Sessions getting in the race is the only good news Doug Jones has had in a while – only good news he has had since Roy Moore got in the race. Jeff Sessions is as pleasing to Doug Jones as Roy Moore was to get into it. Doug wants chaos. Doug wants Jeff Sessions and Roy Moore to come in here and upset the applecart. I just don’t think that is going to work. This is Jeff’s decision. If he wants to come in here and do a favor for Doug Jones, it’s his business.”
According to Byrne, Jones sees Sessions as “someone he can easily beat” given Sessions was susceptible to attacks from a third party supporting Jones but disguised as a conservative group. That third party, says Byrne, would play the attacks from Trump to discourage voters from voting for Sessions as the Republican nominee in a general election.
“I think Doug is being kind of shrewd about that,” he added. “I think Jeff is one of the weaker candidates against Doug as a result of his fight with the president.”