President Donald Trump woke to a self-inflicted political disaster Wednesday morning that even he could not chalk up to fake news, after Republican Roy Moore crashed to defeat in the Alabama Senate race.
Trump tries to minimize stinging defeat
Completely disregarding the advice of top Republicans, Trump had thrown himself unequivocally and comprehensively behind Moore — and so the deeply flawed Republican candidate’s upset loss on Tuesday is now his own.
Trump had argued that notwithstanding allegations of sexual abuse whirling around Moore, Republicans should vote for him anyway because he would be better than a Democrat who would be weak on crime, the military and borders.
But in an effort to save face on Wednesday, he insisted he had actually had it right all along — recalling his earlier support for incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in a primary, before he was defeated by Moore, in what was seen at the time as another bad political bet by the President.
« The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will not be able to win the General Election. I was right! Roy worked hard but the deck was stacked against him! » Trump tweeted.
But the stunning win by Democrat Doug Jones in one of the nation’s most conservative states raised questions not just about Trump’s political acumen but also over whether his remarkable run, in which he crushed convention and defied political gravity, is beginning, finally, to run out of steam.
Moore’s loss also put the fate of the President’s agenda on the line, with the GOP majority in the Senate now shaved to just a single vote and the chamber one step closer, though still a long shot, to being up for grabs in midterm elections next year.
In his first reaction to the loss, Trump was unusually chivalrous, congratulating Jones and bemoaning the write-in votes that helped doom Moore.
« The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends! » Trump tweeted.(CNN)