Alabama Senate candidate and former “Black Hawk Down” pilot Mike Durant touted his military and business experience ahead of Tuesday’s primary and blasted the Biden administration for its handling of the numerous crises facing Alabamians and Americans across the country.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Durant accused President Biden of being “behind the ball in every decision” regarding US foreign policy challenges, as well as the economic woes plaguing the country, and argued that his status as a political outsider made him the best candidate to represent Alabama in the US Senate.
“This goes all the way back to what got us in this to begin with, which I think is a lack of credibility by President Biden,” Durant said when asked about Biden’s handling of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and what some have criticized as slow responses. and indecision from the administration.
“I mean no one believes he’s going to do anything that he says he’s going to do. I mean, he stood up in front of the world and said a small incursion would be OK. This is what got us down this path,” he added, referencing Biden’s heavily scrutinized suggestion in January that “a minor incursion” by Russian forces into Ukraine would not elicit the same response from the US as a full-scale invasion.
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The White House later issued a clarification that “any” Russian incursion would prompt a response.
“There’s no one to blame other than the Biden administration… he’s been swinging behind the ball in every decision,” Durant said.
Durant pivoted his criticism of Biden’s foreign policy failures to the US economy, placing blame squarely on the president for massive inflation, rising cost of goods and services and record-high gas prices.
He blasted Biden for the “shut off” of US energy supply and said that gas prices came down to a simple issue of supply and demand.
“The other element is flooding the market with money. I mean, the more buying power people have, again, demand is higher and therefore prices are going to go up,” he added. “It seems like everything the Biden administration does pushes this in the wrong direction. It’s not helping anyone.”
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“We are creating a dependency on the government, and we’re driving up prices. And I don’t understand it. And we’ve got to turn it around as soon as we can. And I’m optimistic that we’re going to start to do that at the midterms, “he added.
Durant saw a quick rise in his poll numbers after launching campaign ads touting his military experience, following a late entry into the race.
The race was upended in March when former President Donald Trump withdrew his endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., One of Durant’s opponents, and met with him and his other opponent, Katie Britt, on separate occasions. Trump has yet to issue a new endorsement in the race. Durant described their conversation in Mar-a-Lago as “a great meeting.”
According to AL.com, a recent Emerson College poll showed a tight race between the three front-runners, with Britt, retiring Sen. Richard Shelby’s, R-Ala., Former chief of staff, leading the pack at 32%, Durant at 26.4%, and Brooks at 25.1%.
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A candidate in Alabama must receive 50% of the vote in order to get the nomination and avoid a runoff election. If no candidate reaches 50%, the two candidates with the highest vote totals will advance to the runoff.
Durant expressed optimism that he would make it to the runoff, and vowed to continue the progress Trump made on policies important to Alabamians, starting with border security.
“We’ve got to build the wall. Everyone agrees that that should be a priority. We had it under way. President Trump made tremendous progress in securing the southern border and Joe Biden threw it all away, just like he threw away energy independence. , just like he threw away all the success we had in Afghanistan, “he said.
“Number two is energy independence. It’s driving inflation. It’s creating some dependencies on international suppliers that, quite frankly, can’t be trusted… but, energy independence is critical. Independence is critical because it is a contributing factor in the price we pay. for everything, whether it’s goods, services, our own lives, getting to and from work, all of those things, “he said.
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Durant added that his third most important policy point would be a “strong national defense,” arguing it was important for the country, but specifically Alabama because of its “significant aerospace and defense” industry.