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Pro-Brooks super PAC goes negative

Brooks, a career politician running as an anti-swamp candidate, is pairing with one of the most prominent Washington super PACs.

Republican Senate candidate Katie Britt, left, and Congressman Mo Brooks, right.

A Washington D.C. super PAC recently released an attack ad against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt. 

Club for Growth, which is supporting Congressman Mo Brooks, has said that it will spend whatever is needed to ensure a Brooks win in Alabama. 

In the press release promoting its attack ad, the group referred to state citizens as “Alabamans” instead of “Alabamians,” a mistake that should have been caught by a quick Google search.

Without irony, Brooks, a career politician running as an anti-swamp candidate, is pairing with one of the most prominent Washington super PACs. As one observer noted: “The swamp is coming to our state to support one of its own creatures.”

During the 2020 campaign cycle, the Club for Growth super PAC spent $5,223,463 in Alabama with over $4 million on purely negative ads.

Some of those millions in attack ads were aimed at then-candidate Jerry Carl, who claimed the Club’s support came with strings attached.

“Months ago, Club for Growth interviewed all the candidates in this congressional election, and they asked all of us if they could count on us to vote against Austal’s Littoral Combat Ship contract,” Carl told Yellowhammer News. “That’s right – we were asked to promise them we would vote against the 4000 jobs at Austal shipyard! I told them I’m not their guy, and I walked out of the interview. I’m not sure what my opponent told them, but there’s no way I could vote against 4000 jobs and the families they support here in the 1st District. No election win is that important to me.”

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The group backed former state Sen. Bill Hightower over Carl, but its millions couldn’t overcome Carl’s principled stand for the 1st Congressional District.

Without shame, the Club for Growth, one of the original Never Trumpers in 2016, is now supporting Brooks, who previously questioned Trump’s honesty and character during the same election cycle. 

“Donald Trump is a notorious flip-flopper,” Brooks said. “I will not publicly support, or endorse with my reputation, someone who I know to have such huge character flaws and who is dishonest.” 

Politico reported: “From the moment Trump announced his candidacy in the summer of 2015 until he clinched the Republican nomination a year later, the Club for Growth waged a nonstop, $7 million campaign against him. Only one outside political organization spent more to advertise against Trump in the primaries—a Super PAC formed explicitly to defeat him.”

The anti-Trump spending drew ire from Trump during the cycle, when he alleged that Club for Growth attempted to solicit a $1 million donation from him.

“The president of the pathetic Club For Growth came to my office in N.Y.C. and asked for a ridiculous $1,000,000 contribution. I said no way!” Trump tweeted. “When I intelligently turned down The Club For Growth crazy request for $1,000,000, they got nasty. What a waste of money that would have been.”

Club for Growth responded to that claim in a tweet of its own: “Actually @realDonaldTrump asked for that mtg & then asked for races he could support. Thought he could buy us off. Worst Kind of Politician.”

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Club for Growth President David McIntosh has previously called Trump not a conservative, saying Club has fundamental differences with Trump on trade and taxes. The group was notably critical of Trump standing up to China on trade issues. (Read more about Club’s squabble with Trump here.)

Coincidentally, Club’s past position — and seeming flip-flop — on Trump is analogous to Brooks’ own record.

In 2016, al.com reported: “Brooks declined to say who he would vote for if it came down to a Trump-Clinton general election. But he said Trump will not earn his public endorsement.” (Read a past fact check affirming Brooks’ 2016 stance here.)

The 2016 election cycle was not the last time Brooks publicly criticized Trump. In 2017, Brooks backed Jeff Sessions in the Sessions-Trump feud. That was during Brooks’ failed 2017 bid for the U.S. Senate, when Brooks offered to drop out of the race so Sessions could return to the Senate.

Club for Growth in the 2020 cycle successfully recruited Sessions to run for his old Senate seat.

It is now obvious that the Washington super PAC is repeating its past efforts in Alabama.

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Written By

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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