Brooks, R-Ala. said McConnell was “responsible” for the bill’s failure and that he was putting the GOP’s policy plans in jeopardy.
“If Mitch McConnell cannot get the job done on this, how is he going to get the job done on the rest of President Trump’s agenda over the next 3½ years?” Brooks asked in an interview with CNN.
“At this point, if I were Mitch McConnell, I would resign, and let somebody else see if they can provide the kind of leadership that is necessary to address health care now, tax reform next, infrasrtucture next, and on down the list,” he said in an interview with Fox Business.
Brooks is currently running in the Republican primary against Sen. Luther Strange, who is serving out Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ term, as well as former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, among others.
Moore recently declared that Brooks and Strange were “fighting for second place” behind him, based on internal polls showing Moore with a small lead over Strange and Brooks at the top of the pack.
Brooks’ attack on McConnell is part of his campaign strategy of distancing himself from establishment Republicans like McConnell. In turn, a McConnell-affiliated super PAC is blasting Brooks for skipping a vote on a bill to assist Capitol Police officers injured in the line of duty.
Counting on President Trump’s popularity in Alabama, Brooks and Strange have released ads bitterly contesting which one of them is the greater ally of Trump’s agenda. Brooks promised earlier in July to “read the King James Bible” on the Senate floor to filibuster any spending bill that doesn't fund Trump’s border wall.
Brooks has had to shore up his Trump bona fides as a result of criticizing him during the presidential campaign for “serial adultery.” Still, Brooks is seen as having more White House support than the more establishment Strange. A recent Strange ad touted “Big Luther Supporting the Trump Agenda,” focusing on the president’s plan to build a border wall and other anti-immigration measures.