In an exclusive interview for POLITICO’s ‘Off Message’ podcast, the Alabama senator warns fellow Republicans to fall in line.
Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, Donald Trump’s friendly but fierce Alabama ally, has a message for Republicans still queasy about their party’s nominee: Tide’s about to roll over you.
Sessions, a 69-year-old former state attorney general who famously donned the “Make America Great Again” trucker’s cap at a massive rally in Mobile last August, thinks Trump is more a movement than a man. And this sprightly son of country preachers and teachers is on a mission to evangelize maybe-Trumpers like House Speaker Paul Ryan on the Gospel According to Donald – with a sermon on self-preservation.
“I think [Ryan] needs to recognize, on some of these issues, Trump is where the Republicans are and if you’re going to be a Republican leader you should be supportive of that,” Sessions told me during a taping of POLITICO’s “Off Message” podcast in his Senate office last week.
“My advice is to listen and accept the will of the American people, the Republican voters – the Republican Party is the Republican voters,” he added – a pointed reference to Ryan’s suggestion that he, and not the presumptive party nominee, represents authentic conservative values. “Give me a break! A lot of our drift within our party has gotten away from [the will of the voters] … I think the leaders in all parties tend to adjust to reality. They just have to or they won’t remain in office … Already many are sensing it.”
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