President Trump isn’t going to Alabama to campaign for Roy Moore. But he’s planning to get about as close as you can to the state line.
Trump is expected to hold a campaign-style rally in Pensacola, Fla., about 20 miles from the Alabama line, next Friday. The rally is four days ahead of the Dec. 12 special election in Alabama, where Moore faces Democrat Doug Jones.
At the Dec. 8 rally, advisers said, the president is likely to attack national Democrats and may attack Jones. It is unclear whether Trump will specifically praise Moore.
Pensacola is in the same media market as Mobile, Ala., which could allow Trump to reach Alabama voters without having to actually travel to the state and specifically rally for Moore.
Trump has held fewer rallies in recent months but misses the no-holds-barred feel and the response from the crowds, according to aides.
A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Earlier this week, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump wouldn’t have time to campaign for Moore.
“The President is not planning any trip to Alabama at this time,” she told reporters Monday. “And, frankly, his schedule doesn’t permit him doing anything between now and Election Day.”
Trump has been buoyed by Moore’s climb in the polls and has said he believes his tacit support of the nominee, who is accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers while he was in his 30s, has been good for him. His office has previously said Trump will not campaign for Moore in Alabama and some of Trump’s advisers have worried about the race.
White House officials now say Trump thinks Moore will be the likely victor.