Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks was soundly defeated by retiring Sen. Rich Shelby’s chief of staff Katie Britt by 30 points — a not unexpected outcome given that Britt was endorsed by Donald Trump and had establishment Washington Republicans strongly supporting her.
But Brooks was more than bitter in a speech where he never conceded defeat and spewed vitriol at almost everyone.
“It’s always appropriate to congratulate the winners, and some of these winners might be a little bit unexpected, but I’d be remiss if I did not congratulate the Alabama Democratic Party for helping to ensure that the Democratic nominee in the Republican primary won,” Brooks said Tuesday evening.
“Congratulations to the Democrats. They now have two nominees in the general election,” Brooks continued. “Another group I’d be remiss if I did not congratulate are special interest groups generally and more specifically the special interest groups that support open borders and cheap foreign labor. They worked hard for their values.”
Brooks appeared with the former president on the platform during his Jan. 6, 2020 speech to supporters. He created the House Freedom Caucus of very conservative lawmakers who back Trump to the hilt.
He had Trump’s blessing until mid-March of this year when the former president flipped and decided to back Britt.
It’s no wonder. The mercurial Brooks had an on-again-off-again relationship with Trump through the years. He also didn’t do much in Congress to endear him to friends, foes, or constituents.
He did not establish many relationships, did not seem to enjoy interacting with voters, and accumulated few resources. By the conclusion of the campaign, Britt had visited all 67 Alabama counties. Brooks had not. Meanwhile, he appeared to have a lot more to say about Trump, positive, negative, then positive again, then negative again, than he did about his solution for reducing skyrocketing inflation.
“The guy has an unhealthy relationship with Trump,” said a Republican strategist who opposed Brooks’s candidacy. “He trashes him, begs for forgiveness, gets back in his good graces, manages to fall back out of favor, then trashes him again.”
Trump, if you can say little else in his favor, is a good politician and knows a loser when he sees one. He knew that Britt had a much better shot at victory in the general election and didn’t hesitate to throw Brooks under the bus.
Brooks may not have appreciated the former president’s disloyalty, but there’s little he could have done about it. As it is, Brooks knew enough to avoid blaming Trump for his defeat even though withdrawing his endorsement was the death knell of his campaign.
During his election night screed, Brooks took parting shots at his party, his country, and Congress, where he has served since 2011, saying, “The Republican Party of Alabama lost in a variety of different ways,” before going on to say that “America quite clearly lost” and adding, finally, that Capitol Hill “is a really depressing place to work.”
Who escaped Brooks’s wrath? Former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Brooks last June and then yanked his support for the congressman this past March.
Meanwhile, Alabama looks like an easy hold for the GOP with popular incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey facing off against a Democratic sacrificial lamb in Yolanda Flowers. And the well-financed Britt will run against Will Boyd, a Patriarch and international presiding bishop of Zion Ministries.