Trump Twice Calls Alabama Senate Front-Runner Roy Moore ‘Ray’

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump came a bit un-Moored during a Monday morning radio interview, screwing up the name of the man who’s most likely to be Alabama’s next senator.

The president called into a radio show Monday morning to sing the praises of appointed Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who he stumped for on Friday night. But he showed a clear unfamiliarity with his opponent, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore — twice referring to him as “Ray” in the interview.

According to AL.com, Trump told radio hosts Rick and Bubba that Strange “is going to be a great senator” who will coast in the general election.

“Ray will have a hard time. If Luther wins, the Democrats will hardly fight. If Ray wins [Democrats] will pour in $30 million,” he continued.

When host Rick Burgess clarified that Moore’s first name was Roy, Trump replied that it’s “not a good sign” for Moore that he didn’t know his name.

“I don’t know that much about Roy Moore,” Trump continued. “Roy Moore is going to have a very hard time getting elected against the Democrat. Against Luther, they won’t even fight.”

Moore has led Strange, the establishment pick, in every single public poll of the race. And while Trump’s endorsement and last-minute campaign appearance for Strange have breathed some life into Strange’s campaign, a number of Trump allies including Steve Bannon have jumped on Moore’s bandwagon. Trump agreed to back Strange after heavy lobbying from Senate Republicans including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Alabama strategists view Moore as the clear favorite heading into Tuesday’s primary.

Host Rick Burgess told AL.com that he wouldn’t have corrected the president — “But when he said it twice, I had to say something.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cameron Joseph is Talking Points Memo's senior political correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He covers Capitol Hill, the White House and the permanent campaign. Previous publications include the New York Daily News, Mashable, The Hill and National Journal. He grew up near Chicago and is an irrationally passionate Cubs fan.
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