Kaepernick, ‘Squad’ members targeted in ad by Alabama Republican looking to defeat Sessions, Jones for Senate seat
That’s according to U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, an Alabama Republican who’s hoping to unseat Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Doug Jones come November.
Byrne also makes his message personal in a new campaign ad released Monday by referencing his brother Dale Byrne, an Army veteran who died in 2013 of a heart attack following a lengthy respiratory illness that family members claim he contracted while deployed in the Middle East.
“When the towers fell, I knew my brother would be going to war. Dale was a true patriot. I can’t bring him back. I miss him every day,” Bradley Byrne tells the camera while seated in front of a campfire outside his family’s farmhouse in north Baldwin County where he and his brother grew up.
“It hurts me to hear Ilhan Omar cheapening 9/11. Entitled athletes dishonoring our flag. The Squad attacking America,” he continues while images of Kaepernick, Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., flash over the campfire flames.
“It hurts me to hear Ilhan Omar cheapening 9/11. Entitled athletes dishonoring our flag. The Squad attacking America.”
“Dale fought for that right,” a visibly emotional Byrne says, “but I will not let them tear our country apart.”
“That’s why I’m running for U.S. Senate,” he concludes.
Kaepernick previously faced a wave of backlash after he claimed to protest systemic racism by kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games before completed his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
Meanwhile, the four members of the Democratic “Squad” of freshman congresswomen frequently clash with President Trump, as well as their own party’s establishment, making headlines last year for a war of words with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who spoke of them in dismissive terms. Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib recently drew criticism from veterans and others after accusing President Trump of committing “war crimes” for ordering the drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and other military officials last week.
Byrne will compete against former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and five others for the GOP nomination in this year’s Senate race. They’re all vying to take on Jones — who is considered the most endangered Democrat in the U.S. Senate because he represents a usually reliably red state.
Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in a 2017 special election to fill the Senate vacancy created when Sessions joined the Trump administration. He’s the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate since 1997.
In a December interview, Jones brushed off concerns that a vote to remove President Trump from office would doom his chances of reelection in 2020.
The GOP primary in Alabama is scheduled for March 3, AL.com reported.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.
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