President just held a wildly successful rally in Alabama, but it probably wasn’t enough to get his man, Luther Strange, elected Senator over his opponent and staunch conservative, Roy Moore.
While a lot of folks turned out to cheer for Trump, the simply fact of the matter is that Luther Strange is as establishment as they come and he still trails by double dights
There was even a moment where the President seemed to realize that he might be making a mistake and he admits as much during his speech.
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The foundation for progress begins at home with a government that protects and defends our citizens. And that’s what we have to do. That is why I’m here tonight to ask the good people of Alabama to send Luther Strange to the United States Senate so he can defend your interests, fight for your values and always put America first. Go out and get out the vote!
But I’m going to tell you, I’ll just tell you this quick, crazy story. So why do I like Luther? Because, you know, I have a lot of friends and some of them called, do you mind if I go for the other candidate? I said really you can, I mean, some of them are working for me and they feel and that’s fine. Of course, they may not have a job on Monday, but these are my — right, Richard? We may have to get rid of a few of them. I’ve already gotten rid of a few of them.
But they’re good people. No, they’re good people. But I’ll tell you what happened. The first go around on health care, I said, you know, for seven years we’ve been hearing repeal and replace Obamacare, right? For seven years I’ve been hearing repeal and replace. So I’m very much involved.
You know, they like to say, well, Mr. Trump, President Trump sat in the Oval Office and didn’t — I’m on the phone screaming at people all day long for weeks. They gave me a list of 10 people that were absolute noes. These are 10 Republican senators.
Now, John McCain’s list…
John McCain was not on the list, so that was a totally unexpected thing, terrible. Honestly terrible. Repeal and replace because John McCain, if you look at his campaign, his last campaign, was all about repeal and replace, repeal and replace. So he decided to do something different and that’s fine. And I say we still have a chance to — oh, we’re going to do it eventually, we’re going to do it eventually. With Luther and everyone we’re going to do it.
But I have to tell you this story because we’re here tonight for Luther Strange. I’m here sort of for two. I’m here for Luther and I’m actually here, it’s a Friday night, I really do love the people of Alabama because you’ve treated me so good.
In fact, I said, I don’t want to speak negatively, I said, though, that if I lose this election, maybe I’ll end up moving to Alabama or Kentucky or, like, some states.
I mean, nice to go where people love you and where you love them because it’s special.
So here’s what happened. Here’s what happened. But we never want to lose, right, despite that. We don’t want to lose because we have a great agenda. And by the way, we’re doing a lot of work, we’re getting a lot of things done. They hate to admit it. Including we have a Supreme Court justice, Judge Gorsuch, who will save how about a thing called your Second Amendment, right. OK, remember that?
If crooked Hillary got elected, you would not have a Second Amendment, believe me. You’d be handing in your rifles. You’d be saying here, here, here they are.
You’d be turning over your rifles. You’ve got to speak to Jeff Sessions about that.
So here’s what happened with Luther. So Luther, I get this list, 10 names of people that are absolute total noes. And there were good people, a lot of them. By the way, in all fairness, Rand Paul was on that list. They said don’t even waste your time calling him. He voted twice yes, OK? He was very good. And I haven’t given up on him because I think he may come around, OK?
Wouldn’t it be ironic if he took John McCain’s place and they definitely do not like each other. Wouldn’t that be ironic? That would be very ironic for those of you that know the inner workings of the Senate.
So with Luther, so I have a list and one of the names is Luther Strange. And I know he’s the senator from Alabama, but I don’t know him, I met him once. I said that is the tallest human being I’ve ever seen. I’m tall. I’m tall. I never saw something — he’s, like, he should be on the New York Nicks, they could use him. So that’s why I call him “Big Luther,” everyone is now calling him “Big Luther.”
But I have to tell you, so I call up the different people, well, Mr. President, could you have dinner with my wife, myself, my family, my kids, my cousins, my uncles, and I’d like to talk to you about it. OK, so they come over with the family, pictures all night, everything. OK. And I’ll get a vote or I won’t, whatever, but brutal, brutal. You know what that is, folks, right? It’s called brutality.
I call another one, I say, Senator, we need your vote, I know you’re opposed to it, but I — well, you know, I think I can get there, but you have to do me a favor, you have to see my brother and his wife, they love you and they want to have dinner with you and they want to have breakfast with you and lunch, then after you’re finished with them, how about we’ll go out for a picnic someplace on the White House lawn and then after that maybe we’ll start talking about it. I say, oh, my, oh, it was brutal. You have no idea.
OK. Now I call Luther Strange. I say, oh, I’ve got to call this guy and he’s a no, right? And I say, Senator, I need your help. I said I’ve got to get your vote on health care. He says you’ve got it.
I said, what do you mean I have it? Because I’ve just been hammered by all of these people. Right? What do you mean I have it? He said, sir, I was for you right from the beginning, I knew you were going to win, I knew you were going to win the whole thing. I’ve always been for you, my family has always been for you. And honestly, Mr. President, if you want my vote you have it. I said, do I have to come and meet you someplace? Do I have to have dinner with your family?
I think his wife, by the way, is fantastic. But I said, do I have to have dinner with you and your wife? No, sir, you don’t have to have anything. I’ve supported you from the beginning and you shouldn’t even waste anymore time talking to me. Mr. President, you have my total support.
I went home and told my wife that’s the coolest thing that’s happened to me in six months. OK? It’s true. It’s a true story.
And then time goes by. And he voted and then, of course, you know, John McCain came in and he went thumbs down at 3:00 in the morning.
Oh, do I know so much, folks, I could tell you. It was sad. And we had a couple of other senators, but, you know, at least we knew where we stood there. That was, like, really a horrible thing. Honestly, that was a horrible, horrible thing that happened to the Republican Party. That was a horrible thing.
So anyway, so time goes by and I see Luther’s in a race. And people are saying he’s friendly. Whether you like Mitch McConnell or not, doesn’t matter, but they’re saying he’s friendly with Mitch. He doesn’t even know Mitch McConnell. He was just there for a few months. And they’ve put that mantle around his neck. And I told Mitch I’d like to say this. You know, I don’t like to, but I’m telling you he doesn’t know Mitch McConnell at all. Luther is a tough, tough cookie. He doesn’t deal with and kowtow to anybody.
So they put it around. So all of a sudden, I see he’s down in the race by a lot. And I said, man, that’s really unfair. They were giving him a bum rap because he happened to be in the Senate. They were giving him a bum rap.
And I remember the call. And by the way, the other people that I called, and they’re all fine, but you don’t even remember. The dinners, you don’t even remember any of it. You remember one sentence: Sir, don’t even waste your time talking anymore, you have a lot of business to do, you have my vote. This was a definite no. And I said that’s the coolest thing and I remembered it.
And I called him. And I checked and he was down because of being saddled with stuff. He was down by quite a bit. And I said I’m going to endorse you. And he didn’t believe it. He said you would do that? I said, yeah, I’m going to do that. I shouldn’t be doing it. The last thing I want to do is be involved in a primary, OK? I could be sitting home right now getting to watch some of the games tomorrow, getting ready, right?
But seriously, the last thing I wanted to do is get — but I’ll never forget the way he did that. It was really cool. So what happened is I called him and I said, you know, I want to — first of all, how are you doing, how are you doing? And he said, honestly I’m down a little bit, but I think we’re going to — I said I think you’re going to come back, too, Luther. I think you’re going to come back and you’re going to kick everyone’s ass and you’re going to do great, you’re going to do great.
Because he got saddled with things that he should not have gotten saddled with. So he started off here, he was in third or fourth, he went to third, second and now it’s, like, almost pretty even, right? And I called him up a week ago and I said, you know, I think you’re down by a few points, but I’m going to come to Alabama and I’m going to make a speech for you on Friday.
And such a true story. And as soon as we announced — you know, you look at this arena. You know, the media, the fake news I call it, the worst, the fake news…
…they won’t show this. You know, they’ll say Donald Trump spoke before a small crowd in Alabama last night. It was a small crowd, very unenthusiastic crowd, it was a terrible evening.
No, these are among the most dishonest people. I really mean it. These are among the most dishonest.
The President also hammered the NFL for not doing more to keep players from protesting against the nation that has given them everything they’ve ever wanted.
If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
…our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Luther and I and everyone in this arena tonight are unified by the same great American values. We’re proud of our country. We respect our flag.
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired, he’s fired.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
TRUMP: You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say that guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.
And that owner, they don’t know it, they don’t know it, they’re friends of mine, many of them, they don’t know it, they’ll be the most popular person for a week, they’ll be the most popular person in this country because that’s a total disrespect of our heritage, that’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for, OK? Everything that we stand for.
And I know we have freedoms and we have freedom of choice and many, many different freedoms. But you know what? It’s still totally disrespectful. And, you know, when the NFL ratings are down massively, massively…
The NFL ratings are down massively. Now, the number-one reason happens to be that they like watching what’s happening on, you know, with yours truly.
They like what’s happening. Because, you know, today if you hit too hard, right, they hit too hard, 15 yards, throw him out of the game. They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes and two guys just really a beautiful tackle, boom, 15 yards. The referee gets on television, his wife it sitting at home, she’s so proud of him, they’re ruining the game. Right?
They’re ruining the game. Hey, look, that’s what they want to do, they want to hit, OK? They want to hit. But it is hurting the game.
But you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they’re playing our great “National Anthem.”
The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop, things will stop. Just pick up and leave, pick up and leave.
Not the same game anymore anyway.
Now, one of the things we’ve done, and when I say “we” it’s us, together, we protect religious liberty.
Because we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the true centers of American life. In America, we don’t worship government, we worship God.
Right? We cherish our magnificent Constitution and we believe judges must interpret the Constitution as written and that includes defending, as I just said, our great Second Amendment.