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Luther Strange and Roy Moore Try to ‘Out-Trump’ Trump in Alabama GOP Senate Debate

The Alabama Senate GOP primary runoff between former Judge Roy Moore and Sen. Luther Strange has become something of the epicenter of a civil war for the soul and direction of the Republican Party. President Donald Trump has placed his support behind Strange — the preferred candidate of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — while the populist (Breitbart) wing of the party has gone in with Moore.

On Thursday night, the two candidates faced off in a debate that had a rather odd freewheeling format to it. There was no moderator involved and the way it was set up was that one man would go off on a long-winded five-minute monologue, and the other candidate would answer with his own soliloquy.

Considering that Strange led things off in the event, he was able to pretty much set the tone and messaging for the entire debate. And, for the most part, he wanted everyone in attendance to know that he was endorsed by Trump and Mike Pence.

At one point, due to Strange’s constant referencing of his Trump/Pence endorsements, Moore knocked Strange, saying he was glad he wasn’t running against the president since Strange knows every move Trump makes, even “when he goes to the bathroom.”

Eventually, considering he is receiving quite a bit of MAGA support despite not getting the endorsement of the president, Moore claimed Strange only got Trump’s support because the president was misled by McConnell. This caused Strange to shoot back at the ex-judge, stating that while God may be on both their sides, only the “president is on my side.”

He also took issue with Moore accusing Trump of not being manipulated by McConnell and not understanding that he’s “his own man.”

The election will take place on September 26th. Former White House staffer Seb Gorka, ex-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) — all passionate Trump supporters — are currently campaigning for Moore.

Watch the whole debate above, via Golden State Times.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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