Jeff Sessions’s Senate candidate benefited by the postponement of the Alabama Republican run-off to July. His chances looked grim with the original date of March 31st and Donald Trump’s endorsement of his opponent, Tommy Tuberville, fresh in voters’ minds.
The extra time gives Sessions the chance to negate the setback of Trump’s betrayal and convince Alabamians he’s the real Trumpist in the race. The NRA’s recent endorsement of his campaign shows he still has a chance.
HEY, ALABAMA! The smartest group in the U.S. has endorsed JEFF SESSIONS.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 13, 2020
The NRA knows what will happen to gun rights in America under Tuberville's cheap labor immigration policies. #DontScrewUpAgainAlabamahttps://t.co/wdUHqbWlXC
However, powerful figures in Trump World want to further stomp on Sessions’s campaign.
The Trump campaign sent a letter demanding that Sessions, who was the president’s first attorney general, stop referencing Trump in ads and mailers. The campaign told Sessions that he is “delusional” for asserting he was the president’s number one supporter. The letter emphasized Trump’s support for Tuberville and his lack of support for Sessions. [President’s Campaign Calls Sessions ‘Delusional’ for Tying Himself to Trump, by Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni, New York Times, April 2, 2020]
Sessions’s campaign said that they will disregard the Trump campaign’s demands and continue to speak the truth about the candidate’s support for the president.
Disconcertingly, one of the most America First legislators endorsed Tuberville against Sessions. Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz endorsed Tuberville on Monday. Sessions mocked the endorsement in kind.
This is a mark against Gaetz assuming the leadership mantle in a post-Trump GOP. No one better articulates the national populist message Trump won on than Jeff Sessions. Gaetz’s endorsement is likely a result of the congressman wanting to curry favor with Trump, anger over Sessions’s recusal in the Russia investigation, and Sessions’s firm opposition toward marijuana legalization.
Gaetz supports marijuana legalization and attacked Sessions’ crackdown on the drug as AG. [Matt Gaetz: Marijuana policy shift 'heartless and cold', by Kevin Robinson, Pensacola News Journal, January 5, 2018]
It’s a disappointing move for a promising politician.
But Sessions shouldn’t let this get him down. He still can turn this race around. His nationalist platform is perfect in the climate created by the coronavirus.