It took weeks of back and forth, but U.S. Senate candidates Luther Strange and Roy Moore will meet in Montgomery on Thursday to debate each other. The race is particularly notable because President Donald Trump backs odd, while his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, backs Moore.
The announcement from Trump came the same day as Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, a House Freedom Caucus member who lost in the initial August 15 primary, said he voted for Strange's opponent Roy Moore. "We're talking about somebody who has been removed from the bench twice".
Every poll of the race has found Moore ahead, but many show odd within striking distance. Trump has been supportive of odd, as has his on-again-off-again nemisis Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as the Republican establishment. Bentley then appointed him to the Senate seat before resigning. Strange, who is capable but remarkably flexible on issues.
Strange, who has showcased the support of the president since the primary, will also get support from Vice President Mike Pence who Politico reports will come to Alabama sometime Monday. This move has conservatives questioning Trump's choice of supporting odd. The Senate Leadership Fund and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have invested around a million dollars on behalf of unusual, as has the National Rifle Association. "It's going to be God", he added. "Say anything and it doesn't affect his numbers, no matter how much you attack him".
Moore has made religiously-charged comments in the past. Politifact, the website that fact-checks candidate statements, said the ad was selectively edited. When Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) was asked if he thought Moore would be a productive member of the Republican caucus, Cornyn said, "I do not".
Moore and unusual will speak in alternating five-minute intervals.
The endorsement of unusual was not the only political win for odd over the weekend. He is aligned with the McConnell and aims to re-elect the incumbents.
Meanwhile, Bannon who's back at the helm of Breitbart News, is all-in for GOP insurgent Moore. The controversial former White House chief strategist is targeting a number of incumbent GOP senators during the 2018 midterm elections, including unusual, setting up a showdown with his former boss. Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is backing Moore.
Trump, who has endorsed odd, announced the visit to Alabama over the weekend with a tweet. "He's kissed the president's butt so much, obviously the president likes that". One man, however, seems more than up to the task.
"In order to expect loyalty, you have to give loyalty". This will make Trump look like a loser. I also appealed for guidance from my Alabama sources.