Troy King backs Trump on immigration, trade, Syria in AL-2 candidacy — ‘I think the president needs some help in Washington’
Many know former Alabama Attorney General Troy King for his stint as Alabama’s top law enforcement official from 2004 through 2011. However, with U.S. Rep. Martha Roby’s (R-Montgomery) announcement she would not seek reelection in 2020, King is looking to make a comeback in politics but for federal office.
King is among a field of Republican hopefuls that currently includes State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville), Coleman Worldwide Moving president and CEO Jeff Coleman and former State Rep. Barry Moore. Early polling of the race for the Republican nomination gives King an edge over his opponents.
During an interview with Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” King shared his views on President Donald Trump and the policy positions he took that many see as having gotten Trump elected president.
King pledged his support for Trump, noting how the commander-in-chief has put “America first again.”
“I admire the president,” King said. “I don’t know that there is a lot of people that would put up with what he puts up with in order to try to save the country. And I believe that is what the president is doing — saving the country. He’s made America first again, and during the Obama years, I’m sad to say it was oftentimes being an apologist for America. We shouldn’t have to apologize. Ronald Reagan said we were a beacon, a light on a hill. And we’ve gone through a lot of dark times when people try to put the light out. I think the president is doing a really good job of rekindling the light back to be a bright beacon of hope and stand up for what America stands for.”
The former state attorney general insists he is not running to be the “Trumpiest” candidate.
“I’m not running as the ‘any’ candidate,” he continued. “Too many people know me. I’ve been in public life for a long time. I believe what I believe, and I’ve stood up for it for a long time. But I think the president needs some help in Washington. They are bound and determined to stop him, and I’m bound and determined not to let them.”
On immigration, King argued opposition to Trump’s policy, which is supported by most Alabamians, was a symptom of those telling people how to think about certain things.
“Let me first say as I go out across Alabama and I talk to people, what I hear from people is people who are just God-fearing, gun-owning, Bible-believing people feel like they’ve been shoved into the corner for a long time and have been told it is not OK to think what you think. It’s not OK to say we are opposed to abortion. It is not OK to say, ‘I own a gun, and I’m proud of it.’ It’s not OK to say we have borders for a reason and they’re called border laws — not border suggestions. They are border laws. And you can’t have a country if you don’t have borders. So, I think as much as anything people in Alabama are fed up with people in Washington saying to us, it’s no OK to think what you think. You need to let us think for you. We’re not going to respect your values. And that’s frankly why the Democrats can’t win an election of the coast of this country. If you get into the heartland of America where people believe like we do — that hard work matters, that law and order matters, they can’t relate to what the Democratic Party stands for.”
King reflected on his time as AG, noting a porous border, had an impact on the state during his tenure.
“Where do I stand on immigration? I was the attorney general of Alabama,” he said. “I saw the drug trafficking. I saw the human trafficking that is coming across the borders … and into Guntersville, into Arab. It’s a horrible problem. Of course, we need to close the borders. Of course, we need legal immigration. Is there a need for immigrants to come to America and do jobs? Well, of course, there is. We need common-sense immigration reform. But more than anything, we need to stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country and finding asylum here. These aren’t asylum seekers. These are people who are coming into this country to bring drugs, to bring crime… and we’re not stopping them. So is immigration important? Of course, it is. So is trade. So all these issues that are spilling over into the national news are important to people across Alabama. But immigration reform resonates in Alabama because of the immigration abuses in Alabama.”
Another plank in Trump’s platform during the 2016 presidential election was a pledge to deal with trade issues regarding China, which Trump, for the most part, from the executive level, has fulfilled. King said he saw the short-term sacrifice as necessary to achieve a long-term goal.
“There’s not a simple, painless solution to fix years of neglect and abuse in the area of trade, and I believe that’s why farmers continue to stand in overwhelming numbers with the president, even as they are making sacrifices in their family income,” King said. “They’re struggling with their family budget. But I think they understand we cannot continue to allow other countries to abuse America. We’ve got to put America first again. Who else would we put first? We’re Americans. I believe that is why farmers, and not just farmer — people all over Alabama — are willing to sacrifice in the short-term to get a long-term trade policy that makes sense. I support what the president is doing, and I think people in Alabama support what the president is doing.”
In recent days, members of Congress have opposed Trump’s move to drawdown troops in Northern Syria. The issue split Alabama’s congressional delegation, with “yes” votes cast by U.S. Reps. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery), Mike Rogers (R-Saks), Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) and Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), and “no” votes cast by U.S. Reps. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) on a resolution opposing Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces in Northern Syria.
King argued Trump was attempting to fulfill a campaign promise but added the caveat that maybe there could have been a “better way” to do the drawdown.
“The president has been put in an untenable position,” he said. “The president ran, and I think was elected by a lot of people who believe that these endless wars where we send America’s treasure and her children, and they have fought and bled and died, should end. There was a mandate given to Trump to end these wars, and I believe the president is fulfilling a campaign promise to do that.”
“Maybe could we have found a better way to do it?” King added. “I think we probably could have. But I believe the president is a man of his word, and if you don’t like what he is promising to do, you probably shouldn’t vote for him. But I believe that is one of the reasons he remains so popular in Alabama is because in Alabama we like people that are plain-spoken and say what they are going to do and they mean what they say, and say what they mean. I think that is exactly what we’ve gotten in the president, and I’m glad that there’s been news that there’s going to be a cease-fire.”