Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Mike Durant this week appeared on two talk radio shows in Montgomery and appeared to distance himself from former President Donald Trump “the person.”
In campaign ads, Durant has painted himself as a Pro-Trump man, but when pressed, Durant backed away from Trump the person and pivoted to his policies only.
In a recent interview with Kevin Elkins on 1440 AM, a caller explicitly asked Durant about Trump’s past statements about the late Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona. Durant was a national surrogate for McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and is a fellow prisoner of war.
Listen to comments here.
“He’s not a war hero,” said Trump of McCain in July 2015. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Durant pushed back on Trump’s assertion that McCain was not a war hero, saying: “Well, first of all, I think everyone respects Senator McCain’s service.”
“I think what happened in his relationship with President Trump was in his career as a politician and in the decisions he made when he served as a U.S. Senator – and most importantly, his vote regarding Obamacare created an adversarial relationship. You know, I think that’s where that came from. It doesn’t apply to me. I would not say that, but that’s in my opinion the source of where that came from,” Durant continued.
The same caller then asked, “He still shouldn’t have attacked his service if he didn’t like his politics, would you agree?”
“Well, I don’t, personally I don’t attack people. I really don’t, you know, unless I’m boxed into a corner,” Durant said before being pressed further by the caller to address Trump’s words.
“Your hero Trump did that,” the caller responded.
“Well, I didn’t say Trump was my hero,” Durant answered. “I said I agree with his policies. And it isn’t necessarily about the person. It’s about the agenda… Not everything he said or did was right.”
A few minutes later, another caller chimed into the show, pointing out that Durant’s timeline on the Trump-McCain feud was incorrect. The Obamacare vote Durant referenced was in July 2017, a full two years after Trump’s remarks.
The second caller prompted Durant to answer again why he thought Trump’s remarks were “appropriate,” given the Obamacare vote was not a factor at that point in 2015.
“Yeah, I didn’t say they were appropriate,” Durant stressed. “I said where the conflict between President Trump and Senator McCain came was on the political side. We all respect Senator McCain’s military service, and I would never criticize that.”
Durant soon after that interviewed with Joey Clark on 93.1 FM.
Clark noted he did not vote for Trump in 2016 before asking Durant when he became a supporter of Trump.
Instead of answering, Durant only noted that he voted for Trump in the general election when he was the Republican nominee in both the 2016 and 2020 cycles. Voting records show that Durant did not vote in the GOP primary in either 2016 or 2020.
“It’s about his policies,” Durant added. “It isn’t necessarily about the person.”
While noting Trump was not treated fairly by the national media, Durant remarked of Trump, “Arguably, he’s his own worst enemy with some of the things that are said.”
“His agenda and his policies are what I align with,” he concluded.
Both Durant and U.S. Senate candidate Congressman Mo Brooks seek to capitalize on Trump’s popularity in the state as they vie for a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Recently both have made statements highly contradicting the former president’s positions. Trump has remained uncharacteristic quiet in the face of such slights as if a wall of silence surrounds Mar-a-Lago.