Trump vows to back winner of Alabama GOP Senate runoff

Trump vows to back winner of Alabama GOP Senate runoff
© Getty Images
President Trump pledged Friday to support the winner of Alabama's GOP Senate primary runoff while questioning the general election prospects of Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeRoy Moore Facebook page shares provocative memes on NFL anthem protests Poll: Moore has lead, Dems see opportunity in Ala. Senate race GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE's (R-Ala.) opponent.
"I told Luther, I have to say this, if his opponent wins, I'm going to be here campaigning like hell for him," Trump told a crowd in Huntsville, Ala.
Trump traveled to Alabama to stump for Strange days before he faces off against Roy Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, in Tuesday's runoff.
Moore has led in polls while campaigning with several top Trump allies, while Strange has boasted the support of Trump and the GOP establishment.
Trump insisted Friday night that Strange had a better chance of winning the primary and going onto win the general election.
"I have to say this, and you understand this, and just look at the polls. Luther will definitely win," he said. "Roy [Moore] has a very good chance of not winning in the general election."
The president said if Strange does not win, he would be blamed for the loss.
"I might have made a mistake. And I'll be honest, I might have made a mistake, because, you know, here's a story, if Luther doesn't win, there's a very short period of time. They're going to say, 'Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE, the president of the United States, was unable to pull his candidate across the line,' " he said.
Trump sided with his party's establishment last month when he endorsed Strange in the race to fill Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsIntel leaders: Collusion still open part of investigation Republicans jockey for position on immigration Biden to Alabama: No more extremist senators MORE's former Senate seat.
The endorsement has driven a wedge between Trump and some key allies in and out of his administration, who have backed Moore.
The president's own Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonPrice resignation sets off frenzy of speculation over replacement We are all to blame for the Las Vegas shooting India's IBM conquest is an ominous sign for American industry MORE broke with the president on Friday to publicly back Moore, who is seen as an anti-establishment favorite. 
Moore has also earned the endorsements of Trump's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). 
Trump insisted Friday that Strange would "end business as usual" in Washington and argued that Strange was not close to the Republican establishment in D.C.
"Luther Strange is determined to drain that swamp," Trump said to applause. 
"He doesn't know those people. He never met them, he doesn't know them," he continued. "He shares our agenda. Remember, he's going to win the race."
Updated: 11 p.m.