Brooks, Trump discussed Alabama Senate race at White House on Tuesday
At the White House’s request, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) and 22 other House Freedom Caucus members on Tuesday met with President Donald J. Trump in the White House Cabinet Room to talk about Democrats’ ongoing impeachment efforts.
However, that is not all that was discussed.
Brooks, the only Alabama congressman in the room at the time, told Yellowhammer News on Wednesday that the Yellowhammer State’s 2020 U.S. Senate race became the focus of a lengthy conversation.
Brooks outlined that the president at first for approximately 30 minutes “engaged in a wonderful, entertaining, interesting, witty monologue with” the members in the room.
“When [Trump] finished, he looked at me and he asked me, ‘What is happening in the Alabama Republican primary Senate race?’ And, our conversation on that subject matter lasted four or five, six or seven minutes, some amount of time [like that],” Brooks advised. “I explained to him what the polling data reflected — and that is that Tommy Tuberville has a double-digit lead.”
Brooks detailed, “The president asked me why Tommy Tuberville seemed to have a lead in the polls. And I told him that in my judgement, there are a couple of factors that come into play.”
“One, Tommy Tuberville has high name recognition and a good favorability rating based on his service as Auburn University’s football coach,” he continued. “And second, he’s using to maximum effect the argument that Alabama voters are much more likely to trust an Auburn or [University of] Alabama football coach than a career politician. And that argument does favorably impact some number of Alabama voters.”
Tuberville is the only competitive candidate in the race who has never before held or ran for public office.
Brooks also told Trump, “It appears that at least of this moment, Bradley Byrne is in second.”
Brooks, while at the White House, further explained that Byrne currently has the biggest war chest at his disposal in the GOP field.
The North Alabama congressman expressed that ultimately “there is significant uncertainty as to who will be our ultimate nominee.”
Other candidates include Secretary of State John Merrill, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).
Brooks said that Trump particularly asked about Moore’s standing in the race. Brooks then stated that all of these competitive GOP candidates were at some point discussed, with Trump himself giving no opinions, only making inquiries.
The president reportedly asked Brooks how the eventual nominee will fare against the incumbent, Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).
“I explained to him, that in my opinion, our nominee, no matter who it is, will easily win the general election against Doug Jones,” Brooks told Yellowhammer News. “And quite candidly, I stated to him that the primary reason [for that] is that Donald Trump’s going to be on the top of the ticket — and that’s going to turn out a huge number of our voters, and our voters are going to be voting as a team, which means that other people on the ticket with President Trump are going to prevail.”
Brooks added that in the middle of this conversation, Vice President Mike Pence entered the room to brief the members on the situation in Syria and Turkey.
The Alabama Senate race was reportedly such a point of interest that, “Immediately upon that briefing ending, Donald Trump went back to the Alabama Republican primary Senate race.”
Brooks explained why this was.
“Everyone [who was] in that room knows how important winning that seat is to the success of a second Donald Trump term,” he stressed. “And in particular, to the success of confirmations of honest, conservative Supreme Court justices.”
Brooks has actually endorsed Mooney in the primary. Brooks stressed to Yellowhammer News that he continues to support him and plans on voting for him still, however that endorsement is not meant as a slight to other candidates in the race.
“I’m mindful of the fact that we have a lot of really good candidates in this race,” Brooks concluded. “Arnold Mooney is my personal favorite, other people have different personal favorites — that’s fine. As long as we rally around behind our nominee, whoever it may be.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn