President Trump on Wednesday publicly cautioned Roy Moore about making another bid for a Senate seat from Alabama, writing on Twitter that he “cannot win.”
Moore, the Republican who fell short in his 2017 race amid allegations of sexual misconduct in the 1970s, has been eyeing a rematch next year with now-Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) — a prospect that Moore teased on Twitter on Tuesday.
On Twitter on Wednesday morning, Trump stood by his previous support for Moore but warned that a second loss would give Jones the Senate seat for six years as opposed to the two-year term he won in the special election to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions (R).
“I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win,” Trump wrote. “But he didn’t, and probably won’t. If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating . . . Judges and Supreme Court Justices!”
About two hours later, Moore took to Twitter, writing: “Ever wonder why the mere mention of my name scares the ‘hell’ out of the Washington DC establishment, liberals, and LGBT?”
“Like Pres Trump I want to see America great again, but that is a job only God can do!” he added.
The president’s tweets echoed one sent by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., on Tuesday, discouraging Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, from seeking a rematch with Jones.
Trump Jr. called Moore “literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA.”
“Running for office should never become a business model,” Trump Jr. said. “If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it’s time to ride off into the sunset, Judge.”
On Tuesday, after Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) predicted that Moore would lose the party’s primary if he joined the race, Moore responded on Twitter by asking, “What is Bradley so worried about?”
“He knows that if I run I will beat Doug Jones,” Moore added
Moore has inched closer to a 2020 Senate run in recent months. A Facebook page, “Stand with Judge Roy Moore,” posts frequent updates related to Moore. The page recently shared a post by Moore’s wife, Kayla, about a University of Virginia analysis showing that it is “far from guaranteed” that Jones would prevail in a rematch against Moore.
Earlier this month, Kayla Moore also signed a fundraising message citing the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh as a reason Moore might run again.
The message pointed to Kavanaugh’s ability last year to “survive” accusations of sexual misconduct in the 1980s and says Moore is still “seriously considering another run for the United States Senate!”