Jeff Sessions endorses Trump re-election
BIRMINGHAM — Former United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions is still a supporter of President Donald Trump, and he is not shying away from it.
Even after his forced resignation as attorney general, the former senator from Alabama has proven himself to be the consummate gentleman. This was again on display at the Alabama Republican Party’s annual state executive committee winter meeting Saturday.
Just like his special surprise appearance at the party’s dinner the night previous, Sessions was greeted by a resounding standing ovation as he got to the stage to address the Republican faithful near the beginning of the meeting.
He began his speech by extolling how much the state party has grown over the course of his career, highlighting its recent electoral success by explaining the now-supermajority Republican legislative caucus used to be able to “meet in a phone booth.”
Sessions then praised the leadership of his friend and fellow Mobilian, ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan.
“Terry, thank you for your leadership. Being re-elected again without opposition I think shows the strength, the wisdom and judgment of your leadership – and your understanding of the state,” he said. “And I think this party understands this state.”
Sessions continued to laud the party’s victories in the 2018 election cycle, saying he was impressed that Republicans had not become complacent but instead picked up even more important offices.
This set the stage for Sessions’ rallying call later in his address, when he turned his attention to 2020.
“One of the big things that I know you’re not going to lose sight of is the 2020 election,” Sessions told the ALGOP executive committee members. “We need to re-elect President Trump.”
He then began to outline how Trump has kept the promises he made to the American people during the 2016 campaign cycle.
“[Trump] has fulfilled his commitment that he fights every day for the things he believes in and that I think we believe in and what the majority of Americans believe in,” Sessions advised.
The former Trump cabinet member then listed tax reform, reducing overly burdensome regulations, safeguarding freedom of religion and trade policy as areas where the president’s administration has made major inroads.
Sessions gave a shoutout to U.S. Steel’s recent Fairfield announcement as an especially beneficial result of Trump’s work on overhauling American trade dynamics.
“And how about the best series of judicial appointments any president has ever made,” Sessions added, before praising Trump’s work on American energy dominance and support of returning the justice system to a “rule of law” focus.
“GDP is up, higher than people were predicting,” he lauded. “Unemployment is down, lower than we’ve seen maybe in 50 years. And manufacturing is rising.”
“I feel good about what we’re doing, it’s a battle in Washington every day. But I really feel like we’ve gotten this country [heading] in the right direction,” Sessions said. “A good strong leader like President Trump – if he hadn’t been there we wouldn’t have won [the 2016] election. If we hadn’t won this election, we’d have a judiciary that’s – I shudder to think where we might be headed. Another four years of good, solid Trump judges will solidify the rule of law, which is so important for us.”
He concluded by saying there is still “a lot of work to do [and] battles to be fought.”
“Let’s stay at it,” Sessions urged.
ALGOP reflects on 2018, looks ahead to 2020
Sessions was not the only one to applaud the party’s recent success while urging its members to keep up their hard work.
As Lathan delivered her chairman’s report, she highlighted an Alabama Republican Party that is growing in membership and achieving historic electoral gains.
Lathan: 65% of partisan officials in AL are Republican now. @ALGOP picked up 71 seats in 2018.
The chairman thanking the volunteers in the room who made the success possible.
— Sean Ross (@sean_yhn) February 23, 2019
Similar to Sessions’ pivot, Lathan turned the look-back on 2018 into a rallying call for Republicans to fare even better in 2020.
In addition to her ardent support for Trump’s re-election, she especially focused on reclaiming Sessions’ former seat now held by the incumbent from Mountain Brook, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).
“[W]e have a lot to celebrate today but some things to focus on, as well,” Lathan summarized. “[W]e’re only as strong as our last race, so now we turn our focus to 2020.”
She emphasized, “Doug Jones is ignoring the majority of Alabamians… the majority of the citizens of our state. He’s doing it in his words, he’s doing it in his actions and he’s doing it in his votes.”
Lathan said that Jones “votes like he’s from Vermont” rather than Alabama.
She then played a montage video of Jones’ views in his own words, previewing that the junior senator could be his own worst electoral enemy.
One of the clips shown was Jones telling CNN that representing the majority of his constituents is not “the be all to end all.”
After the video ended, Lathan commented, “[O]n November 3 of 2020, we will speak clearly as the citizens rise up in our state and declare, ‘No more, Doug Jones. No more.'”
“And although we do not know right now who our nominee will be, I can assure the state and the nation of one thing: we will lock arms and do everything in our power to help our nominee and win this seat back,” she added. “So, #OneAndDoneDoug, it’s more than just a bumper sticker or fun hashtag on Twitter. It’s going to become reality. We are building an army right now, and we plan to break even more voting records in 2020. And trust me – then, it will be ‘the be all to end all’ and Alabama voters will end this.”
Later in the meeting, the Alabama Republican Party state executive committee passed a resolution endorsing a “vote of no confidence” in Jones.
You can watch the entire meeting below:
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn