Former McConnell aide after shock GOP loss in Alabama: ‘This is what the death of a party looks like’

Roy Moore.

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Roy Moore.
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said anyone out of the phone book could’ve won the Senate race in Alabama as a Republican candidate, aside from Roy Moore.
  • “You could literally take any name out of a phone book except Roy Moore’s and win by double digits. And we managed to get the only guy in Alabama that could lose to a Democrat.”

A former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had the following assessment after Democrat Doug Jones defeated embattled Republican Roy Moore in the special election to fill a Senate seat in Alabama: Anyone out of the phone book – aside from Moore – would’ve won as a Republican.

“If I had the top five Republican minds in politics and we spent three months attempting to conceive of a way to lose an Alabama Senate race, I’m not sure that we could come up with it,” that former chief of staff, Josh Holmes, told The Washington Post. “You could literally take any name out of a phone book except Roy Moore’s and win by double digits. And we managed to get the only guy in Alabama that could lose to a Democrat.”

Holmes had been highly critical of both Moore, who was alleged of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who had boosted Moore’s candidacy since the primary against Republican Sen. Luther Strange, who was McConnell’s preferred candidate.

“It should be a hurricane siren for every Republican,” Holmes said. “This is what the death of a party looks like, and without an immediate course correction and rejection of the Steve Bannon view of the world, you can lose races in states like Alabama.”

Trump won Alabama by nearly 30 points in the 2016 presidential election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Jones defeated Moore Tuesday night by roughly 1.5 points.

Moore, as of Wednesday morning, has yet to concede the race.