Rep. Mo Brooks struck back against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Saturday, endorsing former judge Roy Moore over Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate special election 10 days before Election Day.
Brooks, who finished third in round one of the Aug. 15 special GOP primary contest after sustaining million of dollars in political attacks from a super PAC connected to McConnell, made clear that his antipathy toward the Senate majority leader was a motivating factor behind his endorsement of Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
"The Strange/McConnell forces care not one twit about truth; they freely use malicious lies in their non-stop, scorched earth, campaign of personal destruction," Brooks said during a Moore campaign event, according to a press release issued by the congressman's campaign.
"The Senate race comes down to this: we are in an epic battle between the people of Alabama who put America First and the Washington Swamp that hopes to buy Alabama's Senate seat and put America second."
Moore, a lawyer and former judge, is often seen as the more controversial pick between he and his opponent, GOP Sen. Luther Strange.
In the first round of GOP balloting in mid-August, Moore came in first with 39 percent of the vote, followed by Strange (33 percent) and Brooks (20 percent).
Strange is likely to counter Brooks' endorsement of Moore by emphasizing that he has been endorsed by President Trump, who ran on the slogan "America First" and pledged to "drain the swamp" in Washington.
Strange and Moore are locked in a close race ahead of the Sept. 26 runoff for the GOP nomination, and almost assured victory in the December general election, to win the right to complete the Senate term won by Jeff Sessions in 2014. Sessions retired in January to become U.S. attorney general; Strange was appointed by the governor to replace him.
Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with McConnell, has invested millions in the campaign to boost Strange, including a significant investment in negative ads targeting Brooks and Moore. Brooks, who after losing in round one of the special Senate primary announced that he would run for reelection to his House seat, is still steamed at McConnell for SLF's ad barrage.
On Thursday, Brooks told reporters as much, suggesting that his vote in the runoff was intended to send a message about how, in his view, he was unfairly maligned by McConnell and his allies.