MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Sarah Palin returned to the campaign trail Thursday night to rally support for Judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, armed with a pitch heavy on anti-GOP establishment criticism.
“We’re sending Trump someone who has our back -- not Mitch McConnell’s,” Palin told a raucous crowd of hundreds.
President Trump endorsed the other candidate in this race, Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed in February to fill the seat left open by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general.
But Palin, the former 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, insisted that backing Moore is not an act of defiance toward Trump.
“A vote for Judge Moore isn’t a vote against the president, it is a vote for the people’s agenda that elected the president,” Palin said.
And there are former Trump administration officials and current Republican members of Congress who agree.
Sebastian Gorka, who served as a White House adviser until August, joined Palin on stage in Montgomery last night.
“All you need to know is that Luther Strange is endorsed by Mitch McConnell,” Gorka told Fox News in an interview. “He is a creature of the establishment, that’s why we can’t support him.”
Gorka says Moore stands for the things that made Trump popular as a candidate, so he isn’t afraid to buck his former boss in this race.
“This isn’t about endorsements, this is about the original agenda that got a billionaire real estate mogul from New York elected to the White House,” Gorka said.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, was here for Moore as well, and suggested the president’s endorsement of Strange was a miscalculation.
“Sometimes he gets bad advice,” Gohmert said on Trump, before insisting he wants him to win re-election in 2020.
The president gets a chance to make his case Friday in Huntsville, where he plans to take Air Force One for an arena rally on behalf of Sen. Strange.
On Friday morning, Trump posted the latest in a string of pro-Strange tweets: “Will be in Alabama tonight. Luther Strange has gained mightily since my endorsement, but will be very close. He loves Alabama, and so do I!”