Repub­li­cans want Moore out of race if al­le­ga­tions are true

GOP can­di­date ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct

Chicago Sun-Times - - USA TODAY 11.10.17 - Deb­o­rah Barfield Berry

WASH­ING­TON – Repub­li­cans dis­tanced them­selves Thurs­day from GOP Se­nate can­di­date Roy Moore, say­ing he should drop out of the Alabama spe­cial elec­tion if sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions against him are true.

“If these al­le­ga­tions are true, he must step aside,” said Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell of Ken­tucky, es­tab­lish­ing a line that was re­peated by an ar­ray of his Se­nate Repub­li­can col­leagues.

In a Wash­ing­ton Post story pub­lished Thurs­day, a woman said Moore en­gaged in sex­ual touch­ing with her when she was a teenager and he was in his 30s in the late 1970s. Three other women told the

Post Moore pur­sued ro­man­tic rela-

tion­ships with them when they were teens in the same time pe­riod.

Moore, a for­mer state Supreme Court chief jus­tice, is run­ning against Demo­crat Doug Jones, a for­mer U. S. at­tor­ney, in a spe­cial elec­tion Dec. 12 for the seat Jeff Ses­sions gave up to be­come Pres­i­dent Trump’s at­tor­ney gen­eral.

Moore ve­he­mently de­nied the charges, call­ing them “fake news.” His cam­paign called the al­le­ga­tions “com­pletely false.” “This garbage is the very def­i­ni­tion of fake news and in­ten­tional defama­tion,” cam­paign chair­man Bill Ar­mis­tead said.

Moore blamed the story on Democrats, tweet­ing: “The Obama- Clin­ton Ma­chine’s lib­eral me­dia lap­dogs just launched the most vi­cious and nasty round of at­tacks against me I’ve EVER faced! We are are in the midst of a spir­i­tual bat­tle with those who want to si­lence our mes­sage.”

Af­ter Demo­cratic elec­tion vic­to­ries in state­house races in Vir­ginia and New Jer­sey on Tues­day, at­ten­tion has fo­cused on the com­pet­i­tive race in Alabama.

Repub­li­cans count on a win in the red state, where Trump beat Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton by 2- 1 in 2016. Repub­li­cans hold a slim 52- 48 ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate and can­not af­ford to lose an oth­er­wise safe seat.

Polls have shown Moore hold­ing a nar­row lead over Jones.

Moore beat Sen. Luther Strange, who was ap­pointed to fill the seat af­ter Ses­sions’ de­par­ture in a Repub­li­can pri­mary in Septem­ber, even though Trump sup­ported Strange.

Moore be­came a na­tional fig­ure in 2003 when he was re­moved as chief jus­tice of the Alabama Supreme Court for re­fus­ing to fol­low a fed­eral court or­der to take down a Ten Com­mand- ments mon­u­ment from a ju­di­cial build­ing.

He was re- elected, then sus­pended in 2016 for order­ing the state’s pro­bate judges to not is­sue marriage li­censes to same- sex cou­ples even af­ter the state’s same- sex marriage ban was over­turned.

Sev­eral sen­a­tors, in­clud­ing Richard Shelby, the se­nior Repub­li­can se­na­tor from Alabama, said last week they sup­ported Moore’s bid. The tone changed Thurs­day. “If these al­le­ga­tions are true, there is no place for Roy Moore in the United States Se­nate,” Shelby said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R- Alaska, said Strange should launch a write- in cam­paign if the al­le­ga­tions are true. Strange didn’t com­ment Thurs­day. Sen. John Thune, R- S. D., said Repub­li­cans were look­ing into steps to re­place Moore if the al­le­ga­tions are true.

“The al­le­ga­tions against Alabama Se­nate can­di­date Roy Moore are deeply trou­bling,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gard­ner, chair­man of the Na­tional Repub­li­can Se­na­to­rial Com­mit­tee, said. “If these al­le­ga­tions are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama spe­cial Se­nate elec­tion.”

Some Alabama of­fi­cials dis­missed the al­le­ga­tions. “Even if you ac­cept

The Wash­ing­ton Post’s re­port as be­ing com­pletely true, it’s much ado about very lit­tle,” State Au­di­tor Jim Zei­gler told the Mont­gomery Ad­ver­tiser.

Moore will re­main on the bal­lots. Alabama Sec­re­tary of State John Mer­rill said Thurs­day bal­lots have al­ready been printed.

Roy Moore’s cam­paign calls the ac­cu­sa­tions “com­pletely false.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.