Former Republican Alabama judge Roy Moore, whose 2017 US Senate bid ended in defeat against Democrat Doug Jones, is teasing a possible 2020 rematch, The Hill reported on Tuesday.
According to Bradley Byrne, who announced his own bid for the GOP Senate nomination in February, Moore intends on announcing his candidacy next month.
“People who I believe know what they’re talking about say that Judge Moore intends to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in June. I welcome him to the race," Byrne said in an interview with The Hill's Scott Wong.
Byrne believes that Moore simply has too much baggage to win.
“I think people are very concerned that we Republicans lost a U.S. Senate seat because he was our nominee in 2017 and we don’t need to do that again,” Byrne said.
“There are some serious pieces of litigation that have come out of all that. I personally don’t want to talk about any of that; I want to talk about how we’re going to beat Doug Jones,” Byrne continued. “But I think it’s inevitable it’s going to come up in the primary campaign, and if he was the nominee, it certainly would come up in the general election.”
In response, Moore, an accused pedophile who was removed twice as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to uphold federal court rulings, tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he "will beat Doug Jones" if he decides to once again throw his hat into the race.
He knows that if I run I will beat Doug Jones.— Judge Roy Moore (@Judge Roy Moore)1559068145.0
But Moore is already facing intense headwinds from people who fought for him the last time around - most notably, the Trumps.
Donald Trump Jr. tore into Moore for failing to win in deep-red Alabama.
"You mean like last time? You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA." Junior replied to Moore's tweet. "Running for office should never become a business model. If you actually care about
#MAGA more than your own ego, it's time to ride off into the sunset, Judge."
You mean like last time? You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAM… https://t.co/skesBKZv9q— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.)1559082437.0
Fair enough, however, things took a bizarre turn when President Donald Trump offered his take on Moore's potential candidacy.
Early Wednesday morning, the president urged Moore not to run because he believes Moore will lose:
"Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t."
Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will… https://t.co/heX3ZP99h3— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1559130030.0
Trump's biggest concern is that a Jones victory could impede Republicans' ability to stack the courts with right-wing judges.
"If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories," Trump added. "Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating....Judges and Supreme Court Justices!"
...If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made dur… https://t.co/QFvUuDyL0i— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1559130031.0
Hold up, Trump has "nothing against Moore?"
Twitter noticed that for Trump, losing to a Democrat is far worse than being accused of serially sexually assaulting teenage girls.
@realDonaldTrump “Nothing against Roy Moore.” A man accused over and over again of child rape.— Michelangelo Signorile (@Michelangelo Signorile)1559130789.0
@realDonaldTrump #BREAKING President Has Nothing Against Mall Creeper Predator— Jeff Tiedrich (@Jeff Tiedrich)1559130163.0
@realDonaldTrump Donald trump is just a Roy Moore who never got Jeffrey Epsteined.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@BrooklynDad_Defiant!)1559132023.0
@realDonaldTrump You have nothing against a child molester who was banned from a mall? Republicans forget the small shit. 🙄— Jeff Hudson (@Jeff Hudson)1559135299.0
@realDonaldTrump You have nothing against a guy who was banned from malls because he molested young girls in a car… https://t.co/sD0LuL0WWf— Rage Donkey™️ (@Rage Donkey™️)1559130130.0
@realDonaldTrump ‘Hey... it’s one thing to support a despicable sexual-abusing accused pedophile when you think he’… https://t.co/YsVSWU9yMd— Andy Ostroy (@Andy Ostroy)1559132758.0
@realDonaldTrump Shouldnt you have something against Roy Moore? Amazing— Julie V (@Julie V)1559140247.0
Recall that in 2017, Trump was gung-ho for Moore, calling him a "really great guy" after his primary victory over Luther Strange.
Spoke to Roy Moore of Alabama last night for the first time. Sounds like a really great guy who ran a fantastic race. He will help to #MAGA!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1506509813.0
In the weeks leading up to the special election, Trump wholeheartedly endorsed Moore several more times.
Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama.… https://t.co/cTTqHa3YXL— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1512386225.0
LAST thing the Make America Great Again Agenda needs is a Liberal Democrat in Senate where we have so little margin… https://t.co/HaMncvh3Nc— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1512745615.0
A big contingent of very enthusiastic Roy Moore fans at the rally last night. We can’t have a Pelosi/Schumer Libera… https://t.co/XHOCKzdEh6— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1512823938.0
The people of Alabama will do the right thing. Doug Jones is Pro-Abortion, weak on Crime, Military and Illegal Immi… https://t.co/yv1IbXRYEj— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1513087766.0
When Moore lost, Trump pretended he was had really been gunning for Strange.
The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will n… https://t.co/DcgJPmLTXy— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1513164124.0
We remember, and this is fantastic fodder for Democrats in 2020.
@realDonaldTrump Hilarious 😆 . As an Alabamian I’m super ecstatic that Moore is running again. Jones 2020— Jasmine (@Jasmine)1559139226.0
@realDonaldTrump This should be a Democrat campaign poster for 2020.— Christopher Cole (@Christopher Cole)1559138450.0
@realDonaldTrump On the other hand, women will be able to CONTROL THEIR OWN BODIES WHEN A Dem wins.— Sharon O'Brien (@Sharon O'Brien)1559138248.0