With campaign in peril, Moore tries to discredit accusers
Alabama governor refuses to postpone next month’s election
GADSDEN, Ala. — Roy Moore, the embattled Republican Senate nominee in Alabama, moved Saturday to discredit the women who accused him of sexual misconduct, and his party’s most powerful figures became increasingly desperate to end a campaign that they worried would undermine their candidates nationwide.
Moore won at least one battle in his efforts to salvage his candidacy — Gov. Kay Ivey rebuffed calls that she postpone next month’s election, which could leave Republicans with a narrower majority in Washington — but his supporters and detractors alike believed his campaign remained in jeopardy.
“People have waited until four weeks prior to the general election to bring their complaints,” Moore, 70, said during a Veterans Day event in Vestavia Hills, near Birmingham. “That’s not a coincidence — it’s an intentional act to stop a campaign.”
Moore has denied the allegations the Washington Post published Thursday, including that he molested a 14-year-old girl, Leigh Corfman, when he was 32. “I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone,” Moore said.
He won applause at the event Saturday when he said it was “unbelievable” that a “grown woman would come forward” about 40 years after she said the overtures took place, and this close to the election to fill the seat Attorney General Jeff Sessions held until this year.
Although many of Moore’s supporters in Alabama share his fury, Republicans have been abandoning Moore since the Post published its article, which included allegations of sexual advances from three other women.
In Washington, Republicans pleaded for Trump, who endorsed Moore’s opponent, Sen. Luther Strange, in the primary, to intervene.
But taking questions from reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew to Hanoi, Vietnam, Trump signaled he was reluctant to reinsert himself in the same Alabama race where his endorsement was so thoroughly disregarded in September.
Corfman said Saturday that a firestorm of criticism from Moore’s supporters had not deterred her.
“I stand by my story,” she said.
Roy Moore called sexual harassment allegations “an intentional act to stop a campaign.”