House Speaker McCutcheon touts Bradley Byrne’s ‘institutional knowledge’ while discussing 2020 Senate race
On Saturday, Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) spoke at a meeting of the Tennessee Valley Republican Club.
McCutcheon addressed the group meeting at Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza in Madison after U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), a candidate for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020, spoke to the group.
At the beginning of his speech to the group, McCutcheon urged attendees when considering their choice for the GOP nominee for that U.S. Senate seat to take into account that soon Alabama could lose decades of seniority if or when U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) steps aside.
“In this race for our U.S. Senate, I hope you understand the political situation we find ourselves in — in Alabama,” McCutcheon said. “We’re at the point where we can lose our senior senator in the next few years. Senator Shelby is not going to be there forever. We need to build seniority in the Senate. And I say that to say we’ve got a lot of good people running on the Republican ticket for this position. But there’s something that you need to pay close attention to from my perspective, and that is what we call institutional knowledge.”
“When it comes to running the legislative process, whether it be on the state level, the county level or the executive level, it’s good to have people who have been in the trenches and have boots on the ground, that know the issues and know the players and know the issues that we’re facing. That comes from just being there, being on the playing field,” he continued. “And one of the things Congressman Byrne brings to the table is that institutional knowledge. If you go to Washington and you talk to people up there — he didn’t prompt me.”
McCutcheon acknowledged he had been “low-key” on the race, and that he was not in attendance to be “waving the banner” for Byrne. But he did reiterate the need for someone to fill the role as the seniority Alabama has enjoyed in the U.S. Senate could be coming to an end.
“If you’ve been listening to me — I’ve been very low-key in this race because like I say, we got several good candidates out there,” he said. “They bring different perspectives to the table. But if you listen to what he said to us today, you cannot help but hear some of this institutional knowledge. If you go to Washington and you talk to people up there in the hallways in Washington, what they’re going to tell you is your congressman, Bradley Byrne is a guy that you can work with, that will talk to you, that will try to find solutions to problems.”
“We’ve got to have that in Washington, D.C,” McCutcheon continued. “We’ve got to have that if we’re going to move what we believe to be America forward. I’m not here waving the banner for Bradley Byrne today. But I am here to challenge you to listen to the candidates, listen to what they bring to the table and realize we’re in the position to where we’ve got to have a Senate seat up there that’s going to bring some things to the table to help us because time is running out when it comes to our seniority. That is so important.”