- Associated Press - Thursday, July 20, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A super PAC supporting incumbent Sen. Luther Strange launched another ad spotlighting U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks‘ past criticisms of President Donald Trump in a bid to keep the conservative congressman out of a runoff in Alabama’s heated Senate primary.

The advertisement is the latest move in a strategy to harness Trump’s continued popularity in the deeply red state to benefit Strange. It banks on the idea that anti-Trump sentiments will turn off GOP voters.

The Senate Leadership Fund’s new advertisement focuses on Brooks‘ past criticism of Trump. Most of the comments cited in the ad, including ones about Trump’s immigration policies and trustworthiness, were made before the presidential primary when Brooks was state campaign chairman for Sen. Ted Cruz.

Mo Brooks. Wrong on Trump. Wrong for Alabama,” the narrator says in the spot.

Strange faces a slate of firebrand Republicans, including Brooks and former state Chief Justice Roy Moore in the crowded Aug. 15 primary to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat. Strange was appointed to the position earlier this year by the state’s governor.

The ad is the second by the leadership fund. Strange’s campaign sent out similar direct mail advertisements to GOP households earlier this summer.

Brooks told The Associated Press earlier this month that he considered the attacks a sign that his campaign is gaining traction.

Brooks said it was his job as Cruz chairman to do all he “could honorably do” for the Texas senator in the presidential primary but that he supported Trump after he “steamrolled” Cruz. Brooks showed reporters a copy of a canceled $2,500 check he wrote to send Alabama volunteers to stump in the neighboring swing state of Florida.

In Brooks‘ first ad, he pledges to fight for funding for Trump’s planned border wall.

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