Moore Wanted Senate Debate To Stay Under Wraps, But He Delivered A Forceful Performance

CSPAN screenshot/ After Words 2005 Roy Moore screenshot

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Roy Moore attacked his Republican Senate primary opponent Sen. Luther Strange Thursday for not being hawkish enough on immigration and trade agreements, while Strange focused on his own past record.

Moore’s performance was reminiscent of President Donald Trump’s face-offs against establishment Republican opponents in the presidential primary.

Moore spent much of the debate re-iterating negative stories about Strange that have appeared on Breitbart, such as an article titled: “Make Central America Great Again: Luther Strange Lobbied for Trade Deal That Drained Thousands of Alabama Jobs to Honduras, Mexico.”

“We can pretty much tell he’s going to attack the whole night. I’ve heard precious little about the issues or what he’s actually going to do,” Strange responded at one point in the debate.

Trump, like Moore, lobbed personal attacks at Republican opponents in the presidential primary. Failed candidate Jeb Bush at one point told Trump, “you can’t insult your way to the presidency.”

However, Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, had demands for the debate that included asking Strange not to use video from it on the campaign trail, a knowledgeable source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Daily Caller.

Moore and Strange’s debate Thursday night was billed as a “Lincoln-Douglas” style debate with no moderator. This came after Moore canceled on a previous debate citing the fact that the president of one of the host organizations, the Alabama Policy Institute, was the treasurer of a super PAC supporting Strange.

Other requests were that Moore wouldn’t be asked any questions and that Moore gets to talk first and last.

Not all of the demands were agreed to as Strange opened the debate and Moore closed. Neither candidates received any questions.

A spokeswoman for the Moore campaign did not return a request for comment.

The request for no video footage use might be due to Moore’s proclivity for making gaffes. A recently released video showed Moore talking about “reds” and “yellows” at a campaign event.

The Alabama GOP Senate primary run-off on Sept. 26 has received national attention due to Trump’s endorsement of Sen. Strange, while Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is pushing for Moore through his outlet Breitbart. (RELATED: There’s A Strange GOP Primary Going On In Alabama)

President Trump will be in Huntsville, Alabama Friday to campaign for Strange.