This year, the six-term congressman helped lead the charge in Congress to overturn the 2020 presidential election results and launched a Senate race. He then won the support of the former president and put him at the forefront of his campaign, posting “TRUMP APPROVED” above his own name on signs. Brooks is now the favorite for the 2022 race.
“No candidate in Alabama could say with a straight face that he would convey Trump’s support,” said Republican Representative Barry Moore, who supports Brooks. “For most Alabamians, an endorsement from Trump is the best assurance that the candidate who receives will be at the forefront of the fight for the issues that interest him. “
But the Senate race will test Trump’s enduring strength, as some Republicans seek an alternative to Brooks. In addition to placing his baseless opposition to the certification of the 2020 election at the center of his candidacy, Brooks has made a series of controversial statements, speaking of a “war on whites” and appearing to sympathize with a man the police have said. arrested this week in connection with a bomb threat near the United States Capitol.
“Although the motivation of this terrorist is not yet known to the public, and in general, I understand the anger of the citizens directed against dictatorial socialism and its threat to liberty, liberty and the very fabric of American society” Brooks tweeted Thursday. “The way to stop the march of socialism is for the American patriots to fight in the elections of 2022 and 2024.”
While Blanchard invested millions in his campaign, Britt garnered the most candidates in the second fiscal quarter of the year: $ 2.2 million, more than double what Brooks brought in during that time. Britt also has the support of retired Republican Senator Richard Shelby, his former boss and the man who currently occupies the seat.
Shelby told CNN that Brooks is a “fringe congressman” and “no ordinary guy,” while Britt is “by far the most qualified and promising candidate for this position.”
But the former president’s rally in Cullman, Alabama – which is part of a congressional district where Trump received 81% of the vote, the highest number in the country – will remind voters he supports the Senate.
It is also likely to increase Brooks’ War Chest. The congressman posted ads on Facebook telling his supporters that if they donate $ 1,000 per person, he will set them up in an air-conditioned tent and seats near the rally stage. For $ 250, he’ll make sure they get “great seating.”
The Trump Factor
Other candidates attacked Brooks, who was first elected to public office as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives in 1982, as a career politician.
But Trump’s backing could have more influence in the GOP primary, leading candidates to pursue his choice while bonding with the former president. Britt is already running ads on Facebook saying it’s “time to end Trump’s border wall.”
“We are very proud of our hospitality here in Alabama, and we welcome President Trump to our state,” Britt said in a statement. “He showed the nation that we don’t need ineffective career politicians in Washington. We need someone who is going to get things done in the US Senate, and I am that person. “
And Taylor, who lost a 2020 House race before announcing his 2022 Senate campaign, tried to attack Brooks for not being a strong enough Trump supporter. She noted that he blasted Trump in the 2016 race and did not donate to Trump’s campaigns in 2016 or 2020, even though he gave GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.
“He is all about talk and not action, as his record in Congress will reflect,” Taylor said. “He’s been up there since 2010 and has accomplished absolutely nothing. “
A Brooks aide declined a request for an interview from the congressman and did not respond to further questions for comment.
Trump has an uneven record in recent US Senate races from Alabama. Its then-Sen 2017 approvals. Luther Strange in the GOP primaries and Judge Roy Moore in the general election failed. But while Trump may not be a kingmaker, he can destroy the campaign of a Republican candidate from Alabama.
In 2020, the then president attacked Jeff Sessions, due to their fallout on Sessions’ handling of the investigation into Russia as Trump’s attorney general. This ended Sessions’ attempt to return to the Senate. Once beloved in the state – he did not face any opponents in 2014 – the Sessions lost to former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville in the primary, who then defeated Democrat Doug Jones in the election general.
Trump’s involvement in the 2022 race so far has been limited to praising Brooks. “Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and COMBAT as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks,” Trump said in April.
The Brooks campaign based on Big Lie
After initially supporting Texas Senator Ted Cruz as president in 2016, Brooks quickly became a staunch supporter after Trump’s victory. In 2020, Brooks became one of the first members of Congress to publicly declare that he would oppose the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. The day before the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally, he tweeted that Trump had personally asked him to speak out “of the weaknesses in the electoral system that the Social Democrats exploited to steal this election.”
At the rally, Brooks said, “Today is the day American patriots start taking names and kicking ass. Hours later, the pro-Trump mob stormed the United States Capitol in an attempt to stop congressional certification.
After the insurgency, Brooks demanded that “the perpetrators of the attack on the Capitol” be “prosecuted with all the rigor of the law.” But he also mistakenly suggested that left-wing Antifa activists “orchestrated” the attack. Two Democrats introduced a resolution to censor Brooks for his comments at the rally.
Brooks offered no regrets for his remarks at the January 6 rally.
“I have done my duty for my country,” he told CNN in March.
In a speech launching his campaign in the Senate the same month, Brooks, 66, lambasted the cancellation of culture, “technological censorship,” the soaring national debt, the media, transgender rights and undocumented migrants crossing the southern border. He attacked the Biden administration’s $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief bill for providing $ 5 billion to farmers of color, saying, “The message from the Socialist Democrats: Whites don’t need to apply “. He went on to say that “all racism is repugnant” and that people should be judged on their characters rather than their races.
He also mentioned that he had “led the charge” to overturn the 2020 election, had twice been endorsed by Trump, and had twice backed Trump in two impeachments – and that “no other candidate” can. say that.
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.