Steve Cortes, a conservative news personality and past adviser to former President Donald Trump, was one of media’s first prominent voices to speak in favor of the “America First” movement.
An advocate for what he describes as “economic nationalism” and “cultural conservatism,” Cortes actively supports the candidacies of individuals who subscribe to Trump’s rebranded style of Republican orthodoxy.
Two of the most recent candidates Cortes has aligned himself with during the 2022 GOP primary election cycle are Arizona senatorial hopeful Blake Masters and Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senate nominee J.D. Vance, both of whom hold the 45th president’s endorsement.
Like Cortes, Masters and Vance occupy a position on the Republican Party’s ideological spectrum that is deemed to be further to the political right than that of traditional GOP norms.
The Masters-Vance faction of the GOP is one that places an emphasis on national sovereignty, promotes economic populism, embraces hardline immigration positions and takes a non-interventionalist approach to foreign policy.
The two political outsiders’ insurgent candidacies caught Cortes’ attention, prompting him to come out in public support of their respective U.S. Senate bids.
Cortes recently found a candidate in Alabama who, in his belief, fit this same populist mold in Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Katie Britt.
Earlier this week, Yellowhammer News spoke with Cortes and Britt to discuss the state of Alabama’s hotly contested race for the seat presently occupied by retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa).
If elected, Britt, at age 40, would become one of the youngest members in the upper chamber of Congress. The first-time candidate would join the early 40s age group of U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), to who she has likened her politics on the campaign trail.
This “fresh blood,” Britt contended, is what Alabama’s Republican electorate longs for in its next U.S. senator.
“We have 14 days. We are excited that our momentum continues to grow,” said Britt. “We are relentlessly visiting with voters across this great state. It is clear that people want new blood, they want fresh blood. They want someone to go to D.C. to shake it up — somebody that will fight for our values and fight for our people. And so there is no doubt that we are the best America First candidate and the person to go make those things happen. So we’re excited to make this happen on June 21st and look forward to continuing to earn the votes of every Alabamian across the state.”
When asked why he opted to intervene in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, Cortes told Yellowhammer News that Britt represented the “next generation of America First.”
“I live nearby. I live just across the border in Tennessee, but if I did live in Alabama, I’d be voting for Katie, and I’ll tell you why,” he outlined. “She is really the dynamic, next generation of America First. And what I mean by that specifically is that she believes in sovereignty, she believes in cultural conservatism, she believes in populist economics for this country, and really placing America first.”
Like Masters and Vance, who both hail from the world of venture capitalism, Cortes suggested that Britt represented a growing trend of political figures from the upper echelon of the business community that has embraced tenets of economic populism.
While many political observers would maintain that Britt’s opponent, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), fits the mold of what is considered to be “America First,” Cortes pointed to one recent vote the congressman made that he contended was not consistent with the movement: The approval of a $40 billion Ukrainian aid package.
“And I’ll also tell you, on the other hand, when I look at her opponent, when I look at Mo Brooks, I see someone who unfortunately has sold out all too often to the Washington establishment,” Cortes proclaimed. “Somebody who has, at times, [been] tired and predictable in his views, and to be specific, especially as it relates to his views and vote on Ukraine.”
In an interview with Breitbart News last month, Britt took Congress to task over its approval of the aid package. In railing against the vote, Britt asserted that the dollars could have been utilized to fund border wall construction.
Cortes lamented, “[Brooks] sent an absolute mountain of money we do not have to escalate a conflict 6,000 miles away in which the United States has no vital U.S. national security interest rather than worrying about and paying attention to the very real concerns of the citizens of Alabama, particularly as it relates to the border, our border, not Ukraine’s, and as it relates to inflation, which is punishing citizens all over this country, punishing the citizens of Alabama, and particularly the working-class people.”
Britt expressed that it was “an incredible honor” for Cortes, who she deemed as vital to the “America First” movement, to publicly support her candidacy.
The former Business Council of Alabama CEO left her role as head of the state’s largest business advocacy organization to pursue elected office.
When considering a potential bid for the U.S. Senate, Britt advised that she and her husband Wesley, a former University of Alabama football All-American and New England Patriots offensive lineman, decided that the stakes were too high to forgo a run.
“We need the next generation of leaders to step up and fight for this country,” she declared. “You know, when my husband and I prayed about this and decided to jump in this race it’s because we know the country we grew up in and we see the country our children are growing up in, and while that is not too far apart, it seems worlds and worlds away. And it is time for our generation to get off the sideline and step up for the next generation so that our children will have something left to fight for.”
Should her candidacy prove successful, Britt noted four issues that she would seek to address immediately as Alabama’s junior senator.
Britt advised that supporting law enforcement, promoting American energy independence, defeating inflation, combating China’s economic aggression, and taking aim at illegal immigration would be atop her list of priorities.
Specifically on matters relating to illegal immigration, Britt said she would work to reinstall the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” and “public charge” policies. Taking it a step further, the candidate vowed to curb legal immigration in an effort to “put American workers first.”
“[W]hen you talk to Alabamians, you realize the struggles that the failed policies that the Biden administration have created for everyone across this great state,” Britt said, noting that she has visited each of Alabama’s 67 counties. “And we’ve got to put back in Trump’s policies, we’ve got to put back in the America First agenda so that we can start to flourish and we can start to create opportunity across this great state no matter what their zip code is. So we’ve got to have people that are willing to fight and are willing to step up to help preserve the nation that we know and love.”
Britt and Brooks will square off in the June 21 Republican primary runoff election. The candidate who earns the GOP nod will face the Democratic Party’s nominee in the November 8 general election.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL