Politico’s Alex Isenstadt writes that Breitbart News is leading the conservative opposition to Luther Strange, the establishment-backed Republican candidate for Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat in Alabama, and organizing support for Roy Moore in the upcoming runoff election.
Conservatives led by Breitbart News are waging an all-out campaign to stop a candidate backed by Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell in the Alabama Senate special election — putting growing pressure on the president to step away from his endorsement.
With just over three weeks until the runoff, far-right forces are starting to close ranks around former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, an evangelical bomb-thrower who famously defied a federal order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from a state building.
And they’re looking to persuade Trump not to campaign for Moore’s rival, incumbent Sen. Luther Strange. While Trump has endorsed Strange, the president has been conspicuously silent since the senator finished second to Moore in the first round of balloting on Aug. 15. The runoff is Sept. 26.
Steve Bannon is helping to orchestrate the push. The former White House chief strategist has broken with Trump and endorsed the insurgent-minded Moore. Bannon, who returned to Breitbart last month after leaving the White House, has dispatched one of his favorite writers, Matt Boyle, to Alabama.
Bannon has appealed to powerful conservatives to get behind Moore. He recently addressed the Conservative Action Project, a gathering that included former Attorney General Ed Meese, former American Spectator publisher Alfred Regnery, and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Last week, he reiterated the case for Moore on a conference call hosted by Judicial Watch, a conservative non-profit group.
In both appearances, Bannon was careful not to paint his support for Moore as a repudiation of Trump but rather as opposition to McConnell, who has heavily financed Strange’s campaign and has made the race a top political priority.