News & Politics

Roy Moore Defeats Trump's Pick Luther Strange in Alabama GOP Primary—Steve Bannon Rejoices

The president's extreme backers flexed their muscles and torpedoed his candidate.

Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions
Photo Credit: L: Joseph Sohm; R: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock

If there were any doubts about where the Republican Party is headed, the Republican Alabama Senate primary erased them. Roy Moore roundly defeated Luther Strange, who replaced Senator Jeff Sessions when he was appointed attorney general.

Moore was twice removed from his position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court—once in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument and again in 2016 for ordering judges not to issue licenses for same-sex marriages.

Moore's positions are far to the right of most Republicans. He's repeatedly stated that sexual activities by individuals of the same gender identity should be banned by law, and he supported the racist birther conspiracy against President Barack Obama.

Moore supporters Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, who were both pushed out of the White House, sent a clear mesage to President Trump and Vice President Pence, who both backed Luther Strange. They signaled that moves toward Democrats and bipartisanship will not be tolerated.

Today's results will reinforce Bannon and the Breitbart wing of the Republican Party and foreshadow brutal Republican primary battles to come. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), along with Republicans who do not toe the Breitbart line, are on notice.

Sen. Robert Corker (R-SC) has seen enough and is getting out of town. Sen. John McCain's public revelations about his poor cancer prognosis leave the Arizona Republican's immediate professional future uncertain. 

But Roy Moore still has a final hurdle to reach the U.S. Senate. He'll face Democratic candidate and former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Doug Jones, on December 12 in a special election. 

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