Ho­gan: GOP’s Moore is ‘un­fit’

Gov. says Ala. can­di­date should step aside, crit­i­cizes the Repub­li­can’s de­fend­ers

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - By An­drea K. McDaniels

Gov. Larry Ho­gan called Alabama GOP Se­nate nom­i­nee Roy Moore “un­fit for of­fice” on Satur­day fol­low­ing sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions made against Moore by four women.

Moore was the sub­ject of a Wash­ing­ton Post ar­ti­cle in which the women said he ini­ti­ated re­la­tion­ships with them when they were teenagers in the 1970s and 1980s.

“Roy Moore’s de­fend­ers should ask them­selves if they would be so quick to ex­cuse him if the vic­tim was their daugh­ter or if the of­fender was a Demo­crat,” Ho­gan, a Repub­li­can, said in a state­ment, which he then tweeted. “He is un­fit for of­fice and should step aside. Amer­i­cans are bet­ter than this.”

Ho­gan’s state­ments were stronger than those of some Repub­li­can fig­ures who couched their de­nounce­ments with ques­tions about whether the al­le­ga­tions against Moore were true.

Rep. Andy Har­ris, a Baltimore County Repub­li­can and the state’s only GOP mem­ber of Congress, re­leased such a state­ment Fri­day. “If the al­le­ga­tions re­gard­ing Leigh Corf­man are ac­cu­rate, Judge Moore should with­draw from the race,” he said, re­fer­ring to a woman who has al­leged that Moore ini­ti­ated a sex­ual en­counter with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32.

The Mary­land Demo­cratic Party said Fri­day that Har­ris should with­draw his en­dorse­ment of Moore. Har­ris backed Moore, a for­mer state Supreme Court jus­tice, long be­fore the al­le­ga­tions were re­ported. Har­ris’ cam­paign com­mit­tee contributed $1,000 to Moore’s cam­paign in Septem­ber, and his lead­er­ship PAC gave an­other $1,000 in Au­gust.

Some Democrats said Satur­day that the gover­nor didn’t go far enough with his cri­ticism.

“Roy Moore’s ho­mo­pho­bic, Is­lam­o­pho­bic and white su­prem­a­cist views should have been enough to keep him on the fringes of so­ci­ety,” said Mary­land Demo­cratic Party spokesper­son Fabion Seaton. “Call­ing on Moore to step aside is the de­cent thing to do, but Gover­nor Ho­gan must also ex­am­ine why Moore’s vile views were em­braced by mem­bers of the Mary­land Repub­li­can es­tab­lish­ment.”

Ben Jeal­ous, one of sev­eral Democrats hop­ing to un­seat the gover­nor next year, called Ho­gan’s state­ment po­lit­i­cal and said that the gover­nor does not speak out against ex­trem­ists in his party.

“Roy Moore was al­ready un­fit for the Se­nate long be­fore these heinous al­le­ga­tions sur­faced, and we never heard a word from Larry Ho­gan,” Jeal­ous said in a state­ment. “Larry Ho­gan speak­ing out now has more to do with pol­i­tics than prin­ci­ple. Let’s not for­get that just a week ago, the same Larry Ho­gan was in Vir­ginia cam­paign­ing for an­other Repub­li­can ex­trem­ist Ed Gille­spie.”

The cam­paign man­ager for Rush­ern Baker, the Demo­cratic Prince Ge­orge’s County ex­ec­u­tive who is also run­ning for gover­nor, said de­nounc­ing Moore was an easy choice to make.

“It’s not all that sur­pris­ing; it is the right thing to do,” said the cam­paign man­ager, An­drew Mali­noff. “Roy Moore should drop out of the race. It is es­pe­cially in­cum­bent for our elected lead­ers to speak out against sex­ual as­sault.”

Moore has de­nied al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct. Leigh Corf­man ac­cused Moore of ini­ti­at­ing a sex­ual en­counter with her in 1979, when she was 14 and he was 32, ac­cord­ing to The Post. Three other women said he took them on dates when they were teenagers.

Speak­ing on Satur­day to the Mid-Alabama Repub­li­can Club in subur­ban Birm­ing­ham, Moore called the al­le­ga­tions “com­pletely false and untrue,” and said they were an in­ten­tional at­tempt to de­rail his can­di­dacy.

“In the next few days there will be rev­e­la­tions about the mo­ti­va­tions and the con­tent of this ar­ti­cle that will be brought to the pub­lic,” he said. “We fully ex­pect the peo­ple of Alabama to see through this cha­rade.”

A spokesman for Moore de­clined to pro­vide fur­ther in­for­ma­tion about what those rev­e­la­tions might con­tain.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­flected ques­tions Satur­day about whether Moore should drop out of the race be­cause of the al­le­ga­tions.

KIM HAIRSTON/BALTIMORE SUN

Re­tired Army Ranger Hughy Brown hugs his sis­ter, San­dra Ste­wart, in the chapel at Du­laney Val­ley Memorial Gar­dens. They took part in a Veterans Day cel­e­bra­tion of the life of Ste­wart’s son, Air Force Maj. Gen. Al­fred “Buddy” Ste­wart.

Alabama U.S. Se­nate can­di­date Roy Moore is ac­cused of mo­lest­ing an un­der­age girl decades ago.

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