Former Alabama state Chief Justice Roy Moore tells Conservative Review that should he successfully win his Senate race, he would vote against Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., remaining Senate majority leader.
With a little over four weeks until Alabama’s GOP primary runoff, Moore holds a commanding lead over incumbent Senator Luther Strange, according to the latest poll. The McConnell-affiliated Senate Leadership Fund super PAC has dumped millions into keeping the unelected Strange in office.
In the initial GOP primary, Moore ended in first place, with nearly 39 percent of the vote. Strange was second, with around 33 percent of the votes – sending the two candidates into a Sept. 26 runoff since no candidate (in a field of 10) earned 50 percent of the vote. The most recent poll has Moore winning big (50.4 percent versus 32.2 percent).
Judge Moore has positioned himself as the anti-establishment conservative, echoing President Trump’s campaign promises to “drain the Swamp.” In a recent email to supporters, Moore called himself the “biggest threat to the establishment’s power in Washington.”
“When I talk about the ‘establishment,’ it’s not just Republicans, or not just Democrats. It’s Republicans and Democrats alike,” Moore said, in an interview with Conservative Review Wednesday. “It’s people that want to stay where they are, accept the privileges and benefits of office, and don’t want to do anything.”
As but one example, Moore cited the special Obamacare exemption that members of Congress unfairly get to enjoy. He also expressed frustration with the lack of progress in McConnell’s Senate and the failure of Congress to keep key campaign promises (like repealing Obamacare, funding the border wall, and cutting spending).
“I don’t think they are fulfilling the promises that they’ve made to the people,” Moore said. “I think people in this country, all people, want to go forward. They want progress. They want change. They don’t want this stagnancy that’s occurring in Washington right now.”
Majority Leader McConnell is fighting hard to keep Moore out of the Capitol. Politico recently reported that McConnell’s super PAC was ready to spend as much as $8 million on Luther Strange’s behalf. Additionally, the McConnell-controlled National Republican Senatorial Committee reportedly warned GOP consultants that they’ll be blacklisted if they help Moore (or any of Strange’s opponents):
Mitch McConnell’s DC slime machine is spending MILLIONS to bear false witness.
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) August 9, 2017
Judge Moore says the enormous war chest of McConnell and his D.C. allies makes it difficult for conservatives to challenge incumbent Republicans.
“It’s really unfair to compete against that with the way you have to raise money in these campaigns,” Moore told CR. “You have to raise it at $2,700 an individual or $5,400 a couple and, basically, you can’t take corporate money or PAC money or anything like that, unless it’s a super PAC.”
The establishment-backed Strange has the super PAC. What’s more, not even counting the Senate Leadership Fund’s $8 million, the Strange campaign has raised $2.2 million and has over $934,000 cash on hand.
This money funds an onslaught of attack ads and lies from McConnell and company against Judge Moore. McConnell’s failed leadership is not lost on the former state supreme court justice. When asked if he would vote for McConnell to retain his leadership position, Moore said that he would not.
“You’re asking that, knowing Mitch McConnell is behind numerous false ads against me?” Moore asked rhetorically.
“You would ask me that question when he’s put millions of dollars into my opponent’s campaign, and I don’t even know the man, and don’t know what he’s been for? And when there’s a stagnancy in the Congress, and in the Senate specifically to get the agenda? Knowing what I know, I wouldn’t vote for him,” Moore said.
Facing McConnell’s millions, the Moore campaign only has a little over $173,000 cash on hand, according to the most recent FEC data. But grassroots energy is driving Moore’s Senate campaign. More than a third of what Moore has raised ($157,928) comes from “unitemized individual contributions” of less than $100. Only $13,644 of Strange’s donations are of less than $100.
But Roy Moore is winning anyway, with the help of a passionate army of supporters who believe in his message of smaller government, constitutionalism, and standing up for truth.
“My top priority is always to go back to the Constitution. And go back to restrictions on the power of the federal government. And go back to what the Constitution says the government is supposed to be working,” Moore said. “It’s not working that way now.”
“Look at the conservative principles on which the [Republican] party is supposed to stand but doesn’t,” he said. “The federal government is involved in many areas which it shouldn’t be — education being one. There’s nothing in the United States Constitution giving Congress or the federal government power over education. And there’s a 10th Amendment which leaves certain powers up to the states and not in the federal government. And I believe in those things.”
In pursuit of those principles, Judge Roy Moore says that if he does become the next U.S. senator for Alabama, he won’t let any lingering resentments from the campaign affect him.
“I think those things are resolved by associations when you get there,” Moore said. “This is a campaign. If there are any hard feelings, it won’t be on my part. I’ll work with people as long as they stand for truth and righteousness, and in accordance with the Constitution.”
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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