In a press release issued late last Saturday, former President Donald Trump lashed out at first-time U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt. This unprovoked attack is a sure sign of Britt’s rival’s weakness. Congressman Mo Brooks’ Senate campaign must be in dire straits if Trump is being called into the fray.
Isn’t it sad that Brooks, who claims to be a fighter, needs the most powerful man in the Republican Party to do his dirty work for him?
Brooks is like a little boy who runs to his daddy for protection when things get tough: “Daddy, a girl is beating me for the school mascot. Help me, daddy.”
Brooks is not a fighter; he’s a man who dreams of power and glory but in his waning years finds himself stuck in political middle-management. His interest in politics was born in the 1970s when his fear of being drafted to serve in Vietnam motivated him to shift his focus from science to elected office. Fear drove Brooks then and fear, masked as hubris, drives him now. Brooks was turned out by voters in 1992 in a failed bid for Madison County district attorney, he has lost statewide elections twice and is doomed to lose again unless the former president can drag him across the finish line.
For months, Brooks has complained to allies that the former president was not showing him enough support. Brooks has also been pushing for a Trump rally to bolster his lagging campaign.
Why attack Britt now? The answer is simple: the people of Alabama have already begun voting with their pocketbooks and wallets, and Britt is crushing Brooks.
In her first month of fundraising, Britt’s campaign raised over $2.2 million in donations, with 90 percent coming from in-state donors. Brooks hasn’t published his recent fundraising numbers, but it’s almost certain that it’s nothing close to Britt’s haul. In fact, in just three weeks, Britt has nearly double what Brooks has in his account. People are voting, and Brooks is losing.
Until recently, Brooks was seen as the frontrunner, but donors look at who is raising money, not who is on cable news. In politics, money follows the winners, not the loser, even losers with top endorsements. Endorsements mean very little in Alabama because people here don’t like to be told how to vote. In 2017, then-president Trump backed appointed incumbent U.S. Sen. Luther Strange. Even a Trump rally couldn’t save him from defeat by former Chief Justice Roy Moore in the Republican primary. Trump then endorsed Moore in the general election, who would lose to Democratic candidate Doug Jones.
The race between Brooks and Britt must seem like déjà vu all over again, as the late baseball legend Yogi Berra would say.
The press statement targeting Britt was full of the usual name-calling and hyperbole, but underneath the bravado is the easily detectible sense of panic, fear and anxiety that accompanies a losing candidate.
The two most unusual attack lines were that Britt wasn’t “qualified” and that she was U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby’s “assistant.” Calling Britt an “assistant” when she was, in fact, his chief of staff doesn’t hurt her; it will actually help her with working women and suburban moms who know the sting of disrespect.
Britt is a happily married mother of two, an attorney, the first female Senate chief of staff from Alabama, the successful former president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, a Conservative Christian and a solid Republican. How is she not qualified compared to Brooks?
Brooks is not remotely qualified to be a senator from Alabama unless the voters want a cable news bloviator to represent their interests in Washington. Brooks is a caricature of what the media believes is a politician from Alabama. The state needs a senator with character, not one who is a character.
After 10 years in Congress, Brooks has never passed a single piece of legislation. He did muster enough votes to pass a resolution to rename a post office.
A scorecard that measures lawmakers’ accomplishments in Congress found that Brooks ranked 160 out of 205 Republicans in the 116th House. The statistics kept by the Center for Effective Lawmaking, a joint project by Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia, show that 159 Republicans are more effective than Brooks.
If his campaign pitch were honest, it would be: “I’m Mo Brooks. I’ve done nothing as a representative, and I’ll do nothing as a senator, except perform on TV like a trained seal.”
Brooks has spent 40 years in public office and has no actual accomplishments.
Brooks claims to be a fighter, but he needs Trump to tilt the playing field in his favor because he can’t go toe to toe with Britt.
Alternatively, Britt is an accomplished woman who is not afraid to compete on the battlefield of life and in politics.
When ambushed by the press release broadside, Britt was calm, never attacking Trump. Instead, she bravely stood her ground.
“I don’t need anyone else to fight my battles, and as Alabama’s next U.S. Senator, I won’t be a rubber stamp for anyone,” Britt said. “What we’re seeing now is a reaction to the incredible momentum that continues to build for our campaign. My opponent is obviously panicked; he’s been in elected office for 40 years, but the people of Alabama are eager for a real conservative choice and someone who’s going to bring change to D.C. My opponent lost statewide in 2006. He lost again statewide in 2017. And he’s going to lose in 2022 because our Alabama First team is on the road to victory.”
Brooks was not a Trump supporter until he became president. Trump made Brooks famous by having him speak at the Ellipse on Jan. 6.
In reality, Brooks is everything Trump loathes; he is a loser, and attacks on Britt won’t change that fact.