Both Byrne and Sessions draw their main base of political support from the Mobile area, triggering some speculation among insiders in the state that Byrne would bow out of the Senate race and run again for his old House seat if Sessions wages a bid.

But Byrne said in an interview Tuesday that Sessions’s entry would not make “any difference to me” and vowed to stay in the race regardless.

Then, unprompted, Byrne referenced what would almost certainly be Sessions’s biggest political liability should he run again for the Senate.

“The president is very angry with Jeff. I think the president will be very vocal against him,” Byrne said. “For Jeff’s sake, I don’t want that. But I think that’s the reality of what he’s facing.”