Pre-Presidential Debate Special: Five Questions with former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party Marty Connors

Trump Sign
Trump Sign
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As a preview for the third and final Presidential debate in Las Vegas this Wednesday night, Bham Now asked five questions about the state of the race and its impact on Birmingham and Alabama to former Alabama Republican Party chairman Marty Connors.

For three decades, Connors helped build the current Republican majority in the state of Alabama.  A CPAC Ronald Reagan Award winner and Romney bundler, Connors just recently returned to Alabama from Cincinnati, Ohio, after going door-to-door with an Alabama Strike force group on behalf of Donald Trump.

This is the first of three pre-debate five- question interviews. Upcoming interviews before the Wednesday debate will feature Jefferson County Democratic Party Chair Richard Mauk and Samford University Political Science Chair Fred Shepherd.


What does Republican nominee Donald Trump need to do at the 3rd and last debate in Las Vegas this Wednesday night?

The world is collapsing as we speak: Russia moving missiles, Iranian allies shooting cruise missiles at our ships, China manipulating money, the jobs report flat again, 1% growth. Nothing is really good. But, the media is fixated on sex (it sells) and potty language.

Marty Connors Republican Party
Marty Connors, Former Chair of the Alabama Republican Party

Trump needs to focus on the recent Wikileaks revelations about Hillary telling  Wall Street one thing and Main Street another, the Clinton Foundation, and all of those problems. But he needs to do it in a less attacking way. She is more than capable of playing the “woman card” to distract from her failures. I know I am partisan, but for the life of me, I cannot find a success in her career other than marrying Bill Clinton.


You just came back to Alabama this month after “knocking on doors” in Cincinnati, Ohio as part of the Alabama strike force group on behalf of Trump. You knocked on doors for Romney in 2012. What was the response this year for Trump compared to Romney four years ago?

Romney then, Trump now? I have never seen rallies like Trump has, but they have not necessarily translated into boots on the ground. However, in driving through old neighborhoods, I noticed that there were more Obama signs four years ago and eight years ago than  Hillary signs this year. Trump people don’t necessarily want to put signs in their yard because they have told me they just simply get stolen. But you go to African-American communities and you can see Hillary has a genuine intensity problem.

How will this Presidential election impact people  specifically in Birmingham? In  Alabama?


The impact of people in Alabama and particularly Birmingham will be extraordinarily significant. First of all, should Republicans maintain control of the Senate, Richard Shelby will likely be the chairman of the Senate appropriations committee. Conversely, if you are in the energy business, mining business, heavy equipment, like Thompson tractor, power screen crushers, earth movers, blue-collar workers in that arena, Hillary is a nightmare. Republicans take a position of “all of the above” when it comes to energy policy – solar, wind– yet traditional as well. Hillary’s promise to wipe out the coal industry will be devastating to Birmingham and the state of Alabama, as well as the defense industry in Huntsville and South Alabama. She says she has a plan for all of those displaced workers in the coal industry but she’s never articulated that plan.

This presidential campaign season has been considered by many one of the dirtiest in history. Can you provide us with some inspirational reasons to vote in November?

People say this is one of the dirtiest political campaigns in history. It is simply wrong. You really need to read some of the debates between some of the early presidential candidates or any election cycle in Europe. As far as a word of encouragement: be you right wing, or left wing, this election is about the entire future of the United States, for a number of Supreme Court justices will be picked.


This election is about nationalism versus socialism, it’s really that simple. It’s not about potty language, as some would want you to be deceived or distracted.

We are three weeks away to November 8th. What are your predictions. President? Senate? House?

Since 1992, 19 states have blindly voted for a Democrat as president, 13 states have blindly voted for a Republican to be president. So the Democrats have a built-in presidential advantage, even though Republicans control 31 governorships. It’s called “the blue wall.” Hillary enters this thing about 40 electoral college votes short of winning. Trump has to thread the needle. So, I’m giving advantage to Hillary in the presidential sweepstakes, short of the revelations by the public of how corrupt she really is, but I doubt the media will expose that.


The Senate is a tossup. I’m really looking closely at Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Florida.

Republicans will maintain control of the House.

Final thought:


I believe the election might well prove that America has reached the “tipping point.”

Mitt Romney was crucified four years ago when he pointed out the 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax. That is actually grown today. The real question is, “has America reached the tipping point?”

The tipping point, meaning that more Americans now vote for a living, than work for a living?


Keep in mind Burger King has moved to Canada, Pfizer has tried to move to Ireland. Apple to Ireland, other companies leaving the United States en masse. Trust me, these companies are not moving to Canada or Ireland or other places because they like hockey or they like rugby.

Just like water will follow the natural law of gravity, so will wealth and capital. Wealth will move to the path of least resistance. Hillary Clinton simply doesn’t understand that. The big loser? The middle class which she and Democrats profess to support.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.