Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, is doubling down on his calls for conservatives to move on from the 2020 presidential election.
In August, Brooks was nearly booed off the stage at a rally for former President Donald Trump in Cullman when the six-term congressman said: “There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud and election theft in 2020. Folks, put that behind you. Look forward. Look forward.”
Speaking again in Cullman this past Saturday, at the local Republican Party’s regular breakfast meeting, Brooks made it clear the boos have not changed his tune, despite the strong public backlash he received from allies of Trump following his August remarks.
“The day to fix the problem was January 6. Congress, not the courts,” Brooks said. “Congress is the ultimate judge, jury and arbiter of who wins federal elections and for the presidency. January 6 is the date set by law, and the Democrats control the House and the Senate. So, how is Congress going to get the votes in the House and the Senate to change it? We can’t unless we win elections. So, we’ve got to win elections.”
“We’ve got to look forward,” Brooks stressed. “So that’s our challenge. Whatever happened yesterday or the day before, or if you’re an Auburn fan, what happened last Saturday, you can’t change. But by golly, you can win the next Iron Bowl.”
“That’s the solution,” he added. “That’s the way to fix it. If there’s another avenue, I’m all ears, but I’m unaware of it.”
“But you have to correct 2020 first,” one female member of the crowd shouted at Brooks.
Brooks did not respond to her comment.
Click here to listen to the audio.
The congressman’s remarks came after reports surfaced that Trump is souring on Brooks’ candidacy.
In what could be a sign the congressman is distancing himself from Trump, Brooks has also newly hired campaign manager Forrest Barnwell-Hagemeyer, who in the 2020 cycle managed the race against Trump’s Senate pick in Tennessee and has a long public history of being a “Never Trumper.”
Barnwell-Hagemeyer has been outspoken in his opposition to claims by Trump and his allies that the 2020 election was stolen. Barnwell-Hagemeyer on Dec. 31, 2020, shared and quoted from a Facebook post by U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse bashing Trump and allies who supported formally contesting the electoral votes of certain states on Jan. 6, 2021.
In his speech on Saturday, Brooks also addressed allegations that he is a “career politician.”
“Now, they call me a career politician,” Brooks said. “Well, I have served as a county commissioner, as a state legislator, as a district attorney, as an assistant district attorney and as United States congressman.”
Brooks, who first ran for public elected office in 1982, then admitted he has treated the “majority” of his career in elected office as “part-time” work.
“The majority of my income has come from the private sector. OK? Most of these jobs were part-time,” Brooks said.
Click here to listen to the audio.
Brooks was elected four times to the state Legislature, serving from 1982-1992, when he lost his race for Madison County district attorney. Brooks in 1995 was then appointed state special assistant attorney general by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Brooks would remain in this spot until 2002, even while simultaneously drawing a taxpayer check as a Madison County commissioner. Brooks first ran for the Madison County Commission in 1996, and was re-elected to the commission in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
Brooks was first elected to Congress in 2010, and is currently serving his sixth congressional term.
In 2006, Brooks lost a statewide campaign for lieutenant governor of Alabama; he also lost his 2017 U.S. senatorial bid.
“What they don’t tell you is this that I support term limits,” Brooks told Saturday’s crowd in Cullman. “So, I co-sponsored legislation to impose term limits. And better yet, as the county commissioner, as a state legislator, as a congressman, I have always self-term limited because I believe in term limits. So, think about that.”
It is unclear how Brooks defines self-term limiting. He served on the County Commission alone for 15 years, and his state legislative career only ended when he lost a bid for a different, higher-paying office. His congressional career could very well meet the same fate in 2022.
It should also be noted that the U.S. Term Limits Pledge calls on elected officials to support a constitutional amendment limiting members of Congress to three terms — six years — in office. Brooks, while claiming he is for term limits and self-term limited, is currently in his sixth term — going on 12 years — in Congress alone.
Nevertheless, he said: “I would submit that my public service, for a position as important as the United States Senate, is a huge plus, not a negative as they would contend. My record is proof that I will actually do what I say I will do.”
Brooks’ status as a career politician or the fact that he’s ignored his term-limit pledge may not offend some conservatives, but breaking with Trump by telling voters to move on from the 2020 election might be a bridge too far for many Trump supporters.