A recent report by the New York Times said that President Donald Trump may be ready to step in and endorse incumbent Rep. Martha Roby after careful deliberation with top aides.
According to the report, Vice President Mike Pence considered endorsing Roby in Tuesday’s primaries, but Trump had not decided if he forgave the congresswoman for her comments in 2016 that sparked the crowded primary. NYT says “Republican Officials” are sure he will step in now that Roby faces a runoff.
Roby rescinded her endorsement of Trump for president after the Washington Post published the Access Hollywood tape, which had Trump saying that he liked to grab women’s genitals without their permission.
Even after Trump apologized for the comments, Roby stood by her call for the president to resign as the Republican candidate.
In 2018, her comments were front-and-center in this month’s primaries.
Among her challengers were candidates that ran on platforms supporting the president. The second-runner up and runoff challenger Bobby Bright even adopted the Trumpian slogan “Make District 2 Bright Again” in his campaign.
Trump’s endorsement could be crucial to Roby’s victory as the Trump-heavy district almost unseated the Congresswoman in 2016.
The certified results from the Secretary of State’s Office recorded that nearly 30,000 voters, a little over 10 percent, wrote-in a candidate instead of voting for Roby. Accounting for the write-in candidates, Roby did not break 50 percent.
The last time the president stepped into a competitive race in the state, however, he was burned by Alabama voters.
The president’s endorsement in the 2017 Senate race did not manage to get Roy Moore or Luther Strange elected to the U.S. Senate, and after they failed the president cut ties with them.
During Strange’s endorsement, the president even suggested that he “might have made a mistake.” After Strange’s defeat in the U.S. Senate runoff, Trump began to distance himself from Strange by deleting pro-Strange tweets after the election.
Moore fared no better with Trump suggesting that Moore was not a “great” candidate in a post-election tweet. The president also deleted his tweets from election day where he encouraged people to vote for Moore.