Former President Donald Trump formally endorsed Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks in the U.S. Senate race, giving Brooks a much sought-after announcement of support that could swing the race.
The Brooks campaign announced Trump’s endorsement in a press release Wednesday morning.
Trump’s comments on Brooks, per the press release:
“Few Republicans have as much COURAGE and FIGHT as Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks.
“Mo is a great Conservative Republican leader, who will stand up for America First no matter what obstacles the Fake News Media, RINOs, or Socialist Democrats may place in his path.
“Mo Brooks is pro-life, loves our Military and our Vets, will protect our Second Amendment, combat the Biden open border agenda, is fighting for voter integrity (like few others), and was the Co-Chair of our winning, and record setting, Alabama campaign in 2020.
“Mo Brooks has my Complete and Total Endorsement for the U.S. Senate representing the Great State of Alabama. He will never let you down!”
In the announcement, Brooks said, “I am honored and humbled by President Trump’s strong endorsement of me for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat. I ask all Alabamians who share our America First vision to heed and honor President Trump’s request by joining our campaign. Sign up to help at MoBrooks.com.”
Immediately after Trump announced the endorsement, Brooks changed the name of his campaign Twitter account to “Mo Brooks — Endorsed by President Trump.”
Trump’s endorsement of Brooks did not come as a surprise, given that the former president has endorsed Brooks in his last two races for Congress. Stephen Miller, a former senior adviser to Trump, joined Brooks at his campaign announcement last month and praised him as being a leader in Trump’s “America First” agenda.
Trump also signaled Wednesday’s endorsement during an appearance Tuesday night on Newsmax — the upstart conservative news network. Asked directly about possibly endorsing Brooks, Trump raved about him, saying in part, ““Mo Brooks in Alabama has done a spectacular job fighting for election integrity,” Trump said. “He saw the crooked election, what happened. He was willing to speak up. He’s a strong guy, a tough guy, he loves his state. I mean, I could see going that way.”
If there was a surprise regarding the endorsement, perhaps it came in the timing. The Republican primary is about a year away with only two candidates having announced plans to be on the ballot. Montgomery businesswoman Lynda Blanchard.
It’s possible Trump’s endorsement could serve as a sort of deterrent to keep other Republican candidates out of the race — knowing that the Republican kingmaker’s support has been thrown behind Brooks.
Blanchard, a former ambassador to Slovenia during the Trump administration, was the first to enter the race, declaring herself “a proud member of the MAGA movement” — Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign slogan.
Blanchard also held a fundraiser last month at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s exclusive club in south Florida, and had a photo op with the president. Blanchard has said she will invest as much as $5 million of her own money in television and radio ads through May.
The ties between Trump and Brooks, however, ran too deep for the former president’s backing to go anywhere else. Brooks was the first member of Congress to publicly announce in December that he would contest the presidential election results when they came before Congress on Jan. 6 – spearheading a last-ditch effort to overturn the results of the election that ushered Joe Biden into the White House.
Brooks also appeared at a pro-Trump rally the morning of Jan. 6 at the request of the White House, delivering a fiery speech hours before Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a protest that led to five deaths. Brooks has denied any role in the siege of the Capitol.
Brooks and Trump, along with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., are defendants in a federal lawsuit brought by U.S. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, for causing the Capitol siege.
Brooks has dismissed the lawsuit as “frivolous.”
Of course, Trump has had a mixed record of success when involving himself in Alabama Senate races. He backed Sen. Tommy Tuberville last year in his race against former Sen. Jeff Sessions — a particular Trump enemy due to Sessions’ recusing himself as U.S. attorney general from the Russia investigation. Trump eventually fired Sessions the day after midterms in November 2018.
In the state’s special Senate election in 2017, however, Trump’s pick of former Sen. Luther Strange missed when Roy Moore won the Republican primary. Trump switched his allegiance in the general election to Moore, who lost to Democrat Doug Jones.