The White House said last week that President Donald Trump had no plans to visit Alabama ahead of the state’s Dec. 12 election for a U.S. Senate seat.
But it didn’t say Trump wouldn’t visit Pensacola, Fla., about an hour’s drive from Mobile — Alabama’s fourth-largest city.
The president plans to be in Pensacola on Friday, just four days before Alabama voters decide between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones for the seat once occupied by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
And it appears the president has enlisted his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump — wife of Eric Trump — to make robo-calls inviting Alabamans to a special event in the Florida Panhandle city.
Local residents reported receiving an automated message, inviting them to see the president at the Pensacola Bay Center, but the message mentioned nothing about Alabama’s U.S. Senate race or Moore, AL.com reported.
“Hi, this is Lara Trump, calling on behalf of my father-in-law, President Donald Trump,” the recording says. “I’m incredibly excited to invite you to an event in your area. A special rally event featuring President Donald Trump will take place on Friday, December 8th at the Pensacola Bay Center.”
Moore has been struggling in the polls since the Washington Post reported Nov. 9 that he allegedly inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s. Since then, Moore has lost backing from key Republican Party figures, including U.S. Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas.
However, Trump has walked a tight line regarding Moore.
“Look, he denies it. … He says it didn’t happen, and you know, you have to listen to him also,” Trump said of Moore, Fox News reported Nov. 21.
Meanwhile, Democrat Jones was asked if he was concerned about Trump’s Florida visit possibly swaying Alabama’s undecided voters.
“We’re going to continue to run our campaign the way we believe it should be, and that is directly to the people, talking about the kitchen-table issues,” Jones told AL.com. “So we’re not going to worry about that. We’re not going to worry about somebody that’s campaigning in another state. We’re going to be campaigning in Alabama, all the time, 24-7, between now and December 12th.”
“We’re not going to worry about somebody that’s campaigning in another state. We’re going to be campaigning in Alabama.”
– Doug Jones, Democrat running for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama
The latest Washington Post-Schar School poll, released Saturday, showed Jones leading Moore, 50 percent to 47 percent, with a 4.5 percentage point margin of error, Politico reported.
Fox News’ Serafin Gomez and Sam Chamberlain and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Benjamin Brown is a reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.