In what was perhaps the first in-person dust-up of the 2022 race for the GOP nomination in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and former Business Council of Alabama head Katie Britt, the two front-runners in that contest, exchanged heated remarks over each other’s support for Republican candidates in prior contests during a candidate’s forum hosted by the Republican Women of Coffee County in Enterprise on Wednesday.
The back-and-forth was initiated by a question over each the candidate’s support for then-GOP nominee former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore in a 2017 special election against then-Democratic nominee Doug Jones, who ultimately became U.S. Senator after an upset win over Moore.
After former U.S. ambassador Lynda Blanchard acknowledged her support for Moore, Britt responded to the question by declaring she had never voted for a Democrat.
Watch exchange (video courtesy of the Republican Women of Coffee County):
“Despite what some may say, I have never supported or voted for a Democrat in my life,” Britt responded. “I think it’s important to stand with the Republican Party. I also think it is important to stand with women and make sure their voices are heard, as well.”
Once Brooks was given the opportunity to respond to the question, he offered the microphone to Britt and reposed the question, “Did you support Roy Moore?”
Britt replied, “I actually lived outside the district, Congressman. That wasn’t something I could vote on. Thank you.”
“That’s going to be an issue in this race,” Brooks said, reacting to Britt’s response. “We’ll see as time goes by. Yes, I supported the Republican nominee for the United States Senate. We are a team. We have a belief system.”
Brooks rehashed Republican difficulties in the U.S. Senate lacking Alabama’s traditionally reliable GOP vote with Jones holding that Senate seat and blamed U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa), who at the time of the 2017 general election said he would not support Moore and had cast his vote for a “distinguished Republican” instead of Moore.
“As a consequence, we lost a vote to repeal Obamacare,” Brooks said. “We would have repealed Obamacare but for Alabama having sent Doug Jones to the United States Senate.”
The north Alabama congressman went on to emphasize that he thought it was important Republicans stuck together like a team.
However, it did not end there between Brooks and Britt.
Britt was offered an opportunity for a rebuttal and pressed Brooks on his statement about his support for then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
“Congressman, I guess my question is when you said you didn’t know if you would vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump back in 2016 and refused to answer the question — I think then maybe you weren’t standing [with the Republican candidate],” Britt said.
“[T]hen you also denigrated our president, President Trump,” she continued, after shooing Brooks away. “And you said all of us who voted for him, which by the way — I voted for him every single time he was on the ballot, and so did my husband. And that is something certainly you cannot say.”
Brooks, who endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2016 GOP presidential primary, was very critical of Trump in the 2016 contest, having referred to him as a “serial adulterer” and a “notorious flip-flopper.”
Brooks, who has already earned Trump’s endorsement in the contest for the U.S. Senate GOP nod, responded to Britt by saying he had voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020.
“There’s a reason why Donald Trump endorsed me in 2018,” he continued. “Donald Trump endorsed me in 2020. Donald Trump has endorsed me in 2022. So if you want to make an issue of Donald Trump and where he stands, by golly, let’s have at it because Donald Trump knows who the real fight is for the MAGA agenda in the state of Alabama, and he has said it is Mo Brooks.”
Alabama Republicans will have the opportunity to vote for their preference for the Republican Party’s nomination on May 24, 2022.
Watch the forum in its entirety (via Facebook):
@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.