McConnell Pledges Support For Moore After Senate Primary Victory

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens to remarks by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., as they meet with reporters after a closed-door Republican strategy session, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 11, 2017. McConnell says Senate Republicans will unveil their revised health care bill Thursday and begin voting on it next week, adding, he could delay the chamber's August recess for two weeks as the GOP tries breaking logjams that have slowed work on that and other issues.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) congratulated Roy Moore on Tuesday after the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice won Alabama’s Senate Republican primary, despite Moore’s criticism of McConnell on the campaign trail.

The majority leader said in a statement that Moore “ran a spirited campaign centered around a dissatisfaction with the progress made in Washington.”

“I share that frustration and believe that enacting the agenda the American people voted for last November requires us all to worth together,” McConnell added.

A super PAC affiliated with McConnell, the Senate Leadership Fund, spent millions attacking Moore, according to multiple reports.

During a rally earlier in September, Moore asked the crowd: “Will McConnell’s forces be able to control the senators coming up, with their money, their millions of dollars of money, in the Senate Leadership Fund?”

Moore — who wrote in 2006 of the first Muslim congressman that “Ellison cannot swear an oath on the Quran and an allegiance to our Constitution at the same time” — had the support of former White House officials Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, among others.

After Moore’s victory Tuesday, Trump deleted a series of tweets supportive of Strange.

“Senate Republicans will be as committed to keeping Alabama’s Senate seat in Republican hands with Roy Moore as we were with Luther Strange,” McConnell’s statement concluded. “I urge all of our friends who were active in the primary to redouble their efforts in the general election.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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