On Tuesday, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), who is running for U.S. Senate in 2020, told The Hill he heard from multiple GOP sources that failed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore — who lost a special election in 2017 against Democrat Doug Jones amid a series of accusations of inappropriate sexual interactions with young women — was gearing up to mount another senatorial campaign.
“What is Bradley so worried about?” Moore tweeted in response. “He knows that if I run I will beat Doug Jones.”
The report, and Moore’s taunting response, sparked a series of strong warnings and rebukes from Republicans, including Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted, “You mean like last time? You’re 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. If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it’s time to ride off into the sunset, Judge.”
Wednesday morning, Trump Jr.’s father weighed in with less harsh but equally unequivocal advice for Moore.
“Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. “I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t…..”
Trump then urged Moore to put the conservative agenda, particularly the pro-life cause, ahead of his personal ambitions: “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!”
As The Daily Wire highlighted Tuesday, several Republicans have likewise warned Moore against running again, including Republican strategist Arthur Schwartz. “They are not having a good afternoon over at @RealJudgeMoore headquarters (someplace at least 300 yards away from any elementary school or shopping mall),” tweeted Schwartz. Former White House official Cliff Sims also mocked Moore online: “Narrator: ‘…And thus, in true Trump-era fashion, Roy Moore’s decades-long career in Alabama politics came to an end—on Twitter.'”
But as Politico noted Tuesday, Moore’s victorious opponent would be thrilled about the idea of the embattled judge running against him again. When Moore began to stir up speculation that he would run again back in February, Jones replied, “If he really believes that and if the Republican Party really believes that then they all ought to just step aside, have a press conference with him and let’s just do it again.”
In response to Politico’s report on the backlash over his potential senatorial run, Moore retweeted another taunting post. “He’s running and he’s going to win the primary,” reads the comment Moore retweeted Tuesday.
Moore also retweeted a response to Donald Trump Jr.’s rebuke that connects the flood of accusations against him to the “Russian disinformation campaign” against Trump: “If you OVERLOOK the disinformation campaign ran by the #danielJones #democracyintegrityproject group against @RealJudgeMoore , then you must overlook the #russiandisinformation campaign against @realDonaldTrump that resulted in 2 years of #hoax ! Same people? #fusionGPS”