No matter how you cut it, Mitch McConnell’s creature, Luther Strange, is in deep doo-doo in the primary runoff with former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. The only two polls that have Strange within shouting distance of Moore are an internal poll by the Strange campaign and another poll sponsored by a McConnell group that might as well be an internal poll.
White House support for Strange has been tepid. Trump sent out one tweet endorsing Strange a week before the first round of the primary back on August 8. Mike Pence endorsed Strange on the afternoon of August 15, the day of the election. I think any observant person would conclude that the White House was giving a nod of support to McConnell but not so much of a nod that Trump voters and conservative voters in Alabama thought that Trump was drawing a line in the sand.
As Strange has flailed about, the White House has been trying to distance itself from the stench of flop-sweat emanating from that campaign. Trump had promised Strange that he’d hold a rally for him. As of today, there was no commitment to a date and the runoff is less than two weeks away.
Now the Senate Leadership Fund (I can’t help from giggling every time I read that name), that is, Mitch McConnell’s PAC has come upon a new tactic. If Trump won’t support Strange, Strange will just be forced to surgically attach himself to Trump.
On CBS’s 60 Minutes program, Steve Bannon criticized the firing of FBI Director James Comey as a terrible mistake:
In an interview with CBS News’ Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, Rose said that he had heard that Bannon had described Comey’s termination at the biggest mistake in political history.
“That probably would be too bombastic even for me, but maybe modern political history,” replied Bannon, speaking in his first television interview. He has returned to running the conservative website Breitbart.
Rose then repeated what Bannon was suggesting: “So the firing of James Comey was the biggest mistake in modern political history.”
“I think, if you’re saying that that’s associated with me, then I’ll leave it at that,” Bannon said.
So the SLF has hit upon the idea of attacking Bannon and defending Trump as some kind of political jujitsu that will move Strange closer to Trump and will make Bannon’s support for Moore a liability.
SLF Statement on Steve Bannon’s Comments
Regarding the Firing of James Comey
WASHINGTON, DC – Senate Leadership Fund President and CEO Steven Law today released the following statement in response to Steve Bannon calling James Comey’s firing “the biggest mistake in modern political history.”
“Steve Bannon is dead wrong. Every fact that has come out about James Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation has affirmed the rightness of President Trump’s decision.”
This is about as lame an idea as I think I’ve ever encountered in a senate race. It shows the utter bankruptcy of ideas on the part of the SLF and its desperation. There is absolutely no one out there who thinks Bannon is anything but a Trump loyalist and this criticism, which, if you listen to the whole interview was actually aimed at Jared Kushner, of the firing of Comey is not going to cause Moore supporters to vote for Strange.