Luther Strange campaign strategist: Roy Moore 'picked the perfect race'

(CNN)Reflecting on the Alabama Senate Republican primary runoff, Sen. Luther Strange's campaign consultant seemed unsurprised by Roy Moore's victory.

"Of anybody that has worked with the firebrand conservatives in politics, it's me. I understand that passion when you have that; we have that so hot in this country right now," Jeff Roe told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
"Because you could track it to Obamacare and the failure of the repeal-and-replace. You can track it to when (President Donald) Trump went after (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell about not getting his job done. And this time and spirit that we're in, they picked the perfect race -- the perfect storm," Roe said of Moore's campaign.
    That Moore, who was endorsed by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, won out over Strange, who was endorsed by McConnell and Trump, has been seen by many as a referendum on the Republican mainstream. Roe, however, said it was not a rejection of Trump. And although Trump was "embarrassed and pissed" by Strange's defeat, Roe noted that it was important for Trump's own success that he made an endorsement.
    "If he's going to have political capital in Washington DC with members of Congress and senators and he wants their vote, and he says he's going to do something for them politically, they need to be able to trust that he'll do it," Roe said.
    "At the time when they made the decision ... it was a win-win for him. If he loses then, he has Roy Moore there, who is going to be like him," Roe continued.
    Roe said he was unsurprised that Bannon went against Trump's candidate so soon after leaving his spot as Trump's chief strategist.
    "Steve has a very good brand himself that he's built in the last two cycles," Roe said, adding that Moore's polling numbers and the fact that Strange was appointed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' vacant Senate seat by now-ousted Gov. Robert Bentley made Moore an attractive candidate.
    "If you're Steve, you're going to pick one that you're going to win," he said.
    Roe, who also managed Sen. Ted Cruz's 2016 presidential campaign, warned that GOP incumbents could see the loss of their seats in the 2018 midterm elections unless the GOP reconnects to its base -- and keeps its promises.
    "I believe that elections are based on people being motivated to go to participate, and they are not going to be motivated to go participate if a party can't do anything when they get in power," Roe said. "They're not going to give money; they're already starting not to. They're not going to go vote. They're not going to go work. There's no reason to do, there is no urgency for it. And I think there's real urgency on our side to have people who were Washington fight to get this done."
    "There's not outrage, it's just from the voters. And just because there's an election happening today doesn't mean people aren't pissed," he added.
    Therefore, Republicans must pass tax reform to try to regain the confidence of their base after failing to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Roe said.
    "It has to happen, it flat-out has to happen," he said.
    "I see this so much closer that it makes me even more angry that we can't get things done that we've all campaigned on for years," he continued. "If there's a more unified message between cutting government and taxes, I don't know what it is. If they can't do that it is a serious problem."