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GOP picks up the pieces from Senate race

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

National Republicans continue to point fingers at who cost their party a Senate seat they’ve held for nearly two decades.

December’s historic race saw a Democrat seated in Alabama for the first time in 20 years, and many see it as a waning influence of President Donald Trump to endorse wining candidates.

Moore, who had been accused of sexual misconduct by a group of women, lost the race by a margin of less than 2 percentage points.

The latest attacks came from President Donald Trump who tweeted on Sunday that the GOP was 0-5 on election victories in Congress. He added that he said Moore would not win the seat and thus his lose didn’t count in the estimation.

Trump, who had taken a non-committal position on Moore, fervently campaigned for Moore in the final days even recording a robocall.

The president previously supported Moore’s opponent U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, but distanced himself from him after the senator’s loss in September by deleting all previous tweets supporting Strange.

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Trump followed a similar vein in the aftermath of December’s general election by insinuating Moore was not a “great candidate” and proposed that the GOP run better candidates.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell offered a barbed critique of Steve Bannon, a former White House staffer, for his role in Moore’s candidacy.

The majority leader, at his last press conference of the year, blamed Bannon’s far-right political leanings for propping up Moore’s failed candidacy. McConnell and Bannon have butted heads in the past as the Republican Party’s most influential members reconcile a growing faction of far-right conservatives in their party.

McConnell was an opponent of Moore’s during the primary even committing million of dollars from his Super PAC Senate Leadership Fund in attack ads against Moore. Even after party primaries, Moore took a public position against McConnell’s position as majority leader.

Among Moore’s detractors, also included some of the Senate’s most influential members. Alabama’s Senior Sen. Richard Shelby even said he wrote-in a “distinguished Republican” on his absentee ballot.

Of all of Alabama’s delegation, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks was the only one to public support Moore even calling one of Moore’s accusers “clearly a liar.” Brooks was an opponent of Moore during the party primary, but endorsed him in the general election.

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