Trump reinforces support of Luther Strange at Alabama rally

By Daniel Uria  |  Sept. 23, 2017 at 10:35 AM
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Sept. 23 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump explained and reaffirmed his support for Sen. Luther Strange during a rally in Alabama on Friday night.

Speaking at Huntsville's Von Braun Center, Trump encouraged the crowd to vote for Strange over his opponent, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, in the GOP Senate primary Tuesday.

Trump told the crowd he "shouldn't be involved in a primary," but said Strange offered him support on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and had a better chance of maintaining Republican control of the Senate seat than his opponent.

"I might have made a mistake. I'll be honest, I might have made a mistake," Trump said of his support for Strange before saying he would show equal support for Moore if he were to win.

"If his opponent wins, I'm going to be here campaigning like hell for him," Trump said. "But, I have to say this ... Luther will definitely win."

He added that if Strange was defeated, "the fake news" media would accuse the president of being unable "to pull his candidate across the line."

"It's all about the general [election]," Trump said. "Don't forget, we don't stop here ... This is over on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, the new race begins."

Strange took the stage himself and declared his support for Trump before introducing him to the crowd.

"Even our own Republicans, so-called conservatives, are standing in the way of the president's agenda," Strange said. "That's why he's here to support me, because he knows that I've got his back."

Trump said his endorsement of Strange stemmed from his willingness to support repeal of the Affordable Care Act without asking for anything in return.

"He said, 'You've got it. Sir, I was for you right from the beginning,'" Trump said of Strange's ACA repeal stance. "That's the coolest thing that's happened to me in six months."

Trump praised Strange's willingness to stand up to other Republicans such as John McCain, who said he "cannot in good conscience" vote for the Graham-Cassidy bill.

"John McCain never had any intention of voting for this Bill, which his Governor loves. He campaigned on Repeal & Replace. Let Arizona down!" Trump later wrote on Twitter Saturday morning.

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