U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) is entering the fray of the contest for the seat he currently occupies, which is up in 2022.
Among the front-runners are U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and former Business Council of Alabama president Katie Britt, who Shelby has formally endorsed.
In comments given to National Journal provided by Brooks, Shelby touted Britt’s qualifications while questioning Brooks’ rationality.
“I think Mo Brooks’s camp is probably calling on the president,” Shelby said to Zach Cohen of National Journal. “I don’t know this. He feels the momentum that Katie’s really just getting started, they’re showing a lot of interest, and they’re probably nervous about it.”
When asked if he was helping Britt, Shelby replied, “Absolutely, everywhere I can. I mean, she has to run her own race, I don’t run people’s race. She’s highly qualified, and a very rational person.”
Holt also asked if Brooks would be an irrational senator, to which Shelby replied, “A lot of people would think so. Look at his record.”
In a statement provided to Yellowhammer News on Wednesday, Brooks questioned Shelby-backed Britt’s qualifications:
“I get that Richard Shelby wants to bequeath Alabama’s Senate seat to his former, relatively inexperienced employee. But U.S. Senate seats should never be inherited or bought, they should be earned and decided by the people of Alabama.”
“In any event, “rationality” and “irrationality” are in the eye of the beholder. I am 100% certain that, to Washington’s Swamp and special interest groups who routinely buy Congressmen and Senators, I appear very irrational because I put America First and special interest groups and their Swamp money dead last!”
“No person in Alabama history has been elected more times to public office as a Republican than has Mo Brooks. As such, I respectfully submit that Alabama voters have a much different perception of rationality than do Washington’s Swamp critters.”
“I considered it rational in 2017 to support the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate over Socialist Democrat Doug Jones because President Trump and the GOP badly needed that one Senate vote to successfully gut ObamaCare in 2018 (after John McCain was replaced by Martha McSally). Katie Britt & Richard Shelby had the right to help Doug Jones win and protect ObamaCare. I respectfully disagree.”
“I consider it rational to minimize America’s debt and risk of suffering a dangerous and debilitating national insolvency and bankruptcy. Katie Britt & Richard Shelby have the right to burden America with $30 trillion in debt. I respectfully disagree.”
“On January 6, I considered it rational to join ALL six other Alabama Republican Congressmen and Senators in voting with President Donald Trump and against the electoral college vote submittals of Arizona and Pennsylvania. Richard Shelby had the right to be, and was, the only Alabama Republican to vote with Joe Biden. I respectfully disagree.”
Republican voters will head to the polls in May 2022 to select among the candidates, which currently include Brooks, Britt, Prattville businesswoman Jessica Taylor or former U.S. ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard.
Editor’s note: The initial publication of this story misidentified the National Journal reporter who corresponded with Richard Shelby and has been updated.
The National Journal story has been published and can be found here.
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.