As we approach the final hours before the AL-D2 Congressional Runoff between Republicans Martha Roby (I) and Bobby Bright, I thought I would weigh in on the hoopla that is and was Martha Roby’s decision not to vote for Donald Trump during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
First, a quick refresher, back on October 8th, 2016, during a critical and uncertain time of the presidential race, Roby sent this tweet:
Donald Trump’s behavior makes him unacceptable as a candidate for president, and I won’t vote for him.
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/Ge7GU1TSvm
— Rep. Martha Roby (@RepMarthaRoby) October 8, 2016
This caused an uproar among the staunchly pro-Trump Alabama 2nd congressional district Republican voters. Voters which had already elected Roby to face a token democrat and have no trouble winning re-election in November. Outburst such as this one went viral on the internet:
Well, as they say, the rest is history. History that you all know all too well. Roby barely edged out her
in the general and was elected for a fourth term to congress.
Now, here we are near the end of the 2018 season and Roby’s opponents are still bringing this up. Earlier today I was thinking about this blog and what I did to cover that election back in 2016. Deer Stand Hill was only a few months old as it’s currently incarnated and if you listen to the early podcast it shows. I did try to land interviews with influencers and the politicians running for office all got request from me for interviews. As I thought about those days, it hit me..The Roby email interview! There was a blog post that gained little traffic back in late October 2016 where Roby responded to a series of questions, that I asked during an email exchange with her campaign, regarding her decision to not support Trump. The post received little notice and a database issue caused me to lose it between then and now. But the original email? Well, today I found it! Here is the exchange between the Roby Campaign and myself, this is from October 20th, 2016:
(Answer) Rep. Roby had several stated concerns about Donald Trump as the nominee, particularly as it concerned his shifting positions on conservative issues (life, spending, constitutional order, etc). But, she believe[sic] the best thing for the country and the party was to support the Republican nominee. After the tape, it became clear to Rep. Roby that Donald Trump was unacceptable as a presidential candidate and that the best thing for the party and the country would be for him to step aside and allow Mike Pence to lead the Republican ticket to victory. Politics aside, Rep. Roby is also a mother of two children. She has said that she cannot support a candidate for president who demonstrates such a pattern of abuse and disrespect towards women.
(Question) How have your constituents reacted to this announcement in the days after you made it? Was this reaction expected?
(Answer) There has been pretty significant reaction, some positive and some negative. Many have reached out to express gratitude for her speaking out for what’s right. Of course, others don’t see it that way. Some have misconstrued her decision in a way that would make it seem like she somehow supports Hillary Clinton. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it is precisely because she wants to defeat Hillary Clinton that she spoke out when she did in hopes of Trump doing what’s best for the party.
As she has traveled around and met with constituents this week, most have come to understand that she was simply being open and honest about her views, not campaigning against Trump or trying to tell others how to vote. In fact, she has turned down more than 100 media appearances just because she doesn’t want to appear to be telling others how to vote. Most people can respect that even if they don’t agree.
(Question) If Donald Trump is elected, will your decision not to support him during this last month of the campaign carry over to you not supporting him as President?
(Answer) Of course Rep. Roby would work with him as president. No matter who is in the White House, Rep. Roby’s responsibility is to be a strong voice for the people of her district and advocate for the issues that matter.
Rep. Roby is committed to advancing the conservative cause and putting this country back on the right track. We all believe the best way for that to happen is under a Republican president. Whether it is playing offense with a Republican president, or defense with a Democrat, Rep. Roby is going to fight for conservative principles and values.
End of interview.
Has Martha Roby supported President Trump since his election? Look at this, from
, Roby was expected to vote 93.5% of the time with Trump but actually voted 96.5% with the president. Maybe that is why we recently saw this tweet from President Trump endorsing Rep. Roby for a 5th term:
Congresswoman Martha Roby of Alabama has been a consistent and reliable vote for our Make America Great Again Agenda. She is in a Republican Primary run-off against a recent Nancy Pelosi voting Democrat. I fully endorse Martha for Alabama 2nd Congressional District!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
So why all of the hoopla? Rep. Roby has stood by her words as far as I can tell. What do ya’ll think? Let me know in the comments below.