“If you actually care about #MAGA”, read the tweet from Donald Trump Jr. to Judge Roy Moore, “it’s time to ride off into the sunset.”
The tweet is in reference to the widespread belief that Roy Moore will enter the current Alabama Senate primary against the current front-runner, Representative Bradley Byrne. The Hill recently ran a story explaining the case for such a belief, including interviews from Moore’s associates, fundraising attempts and public statements from the former judge.
The GOP believes that Moore, due to his name recognition and bombastic style, has the potential to win the primary, but that they would suffer an ignominious defeat in the general election due to his many personal and issue problems… exactly what happened in the 2017 election.
An image of apparent hypocrisy is presented with “Running for office should never become a business model,” due to the many allegations, including one recently by prominent, long-time Trump associate Howard Stern, that Trump’s run at the Presidency was intended as a publicity stunt to aid his failing businesses.
Donald Jr. is correct about the President’s popularity in Alabama, however. According to Morning Consult‘s poll tracking, it is second only to Wyoming for current net approval of President Trump. Moore is likely counting on the usual higher turnouts for Presidential elections to generate extra votes for him, after losing by less than two points in his previous attempt at gaining a Senate seat.
Roy Moore’s efforts are particularly troubling to the Trump camp because his failure undermines the main message of Trump to his political allies: that Trump is winning because the new political landscape means that name recognition and bombastic style will win, no matter what personal and issue problems a candidate might have.
Also noteworthy is the fact that Don Jr. is tweeting about Moore. Jr. is a prominent figure in the Trump re-election campaign, but he helps to run the daily business of the Trump brands with his brother Eric. The President publicly distanced himself from the day-to-day operations of the businesses upon gaining office, explaining that his daughter would be a political adviser rather than running the business, and that his sons would run the business independent of national politics. This was stated to avoid potential conflicts of interest and violations of the emoluments clause. It is not unusual for private businessmen to engage in political activity; in this case, though, particularly with a businessman who was a life-long Democrat until his father reached the Presidency, it indicates Donald Jr. may be acting as a direct functionary of his father and engaging in unethical conduct.