'Nothing Immoral' Or 'Deeply Disturbing'? Republicans Split On Roy Moore Allegations

Posted November 11, 2017

On Thursday, The Washington Post published allegations by four women that Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s.

Ivey said she would vote for Moore, who is up against Democrat Doug Jones in a December 12 special election, but has a policy of not offering endorsements. "A 14-year-old girl. It's beyond any comprehension".

Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, chairman of the senatorial committee, had said: "The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling". "He's a good man".

They're all true. I wouldn't couldn't make this stuff up.

The agreement still includes the other participants -- the Republican National Committee, the Alabama Republican Party and Moore's campaign. "I think it's sinister". But that didn't stop Alabama Republicans from making him their Senate nominee a year later.

They fear the controversy could exacerbate the party's broader Trump-era challenge in appealing to college-educated suburban voters - the same group that fueled a big Democratic victory in the Virginia governor's race this week. They feel as though they know Moore - he has been around Alabama politics for decades - and they don't want to vote for a Democrat.

Washington Republicans have called for Moore to step aside if the allegations are true.

And it was clear that many in his conservative base were in no mood to desert him in a race for a Senate seat Republicans consider crucial to maintaining their majority in the upper chamber. Blunt canceled a scheduled appearance at a fundraiser for Moore Friday.

The Washington Post alleged Thursday that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32. Her account is too serious to ignore.

The problem, as readily became apparent from Moore's defiant statements, is that he isn't going to step aside.

"The defense from some of his supporters is beyond disgusting", Comstock wrote. To listen to some Republican officials in the state, Moore is a victim even if he is guilty.

Yet there is no sign he is going away quietly.

Those who think Moore should be replaced have little hope of that happening.

The campaign says, "Judge Roy Moore has endured the most outlandish attacks on any candidate in the modern political arena, but this story in today's Washington Post alleging sexual impropriety takes the cake". Moore, an anti-establishment conservative, was twice removed from his state's Supreme Court for judicial misconduct. The prospect of a write-in candidacy, for a third candidate, was also under consideration, according to party aides.

Every day Moore remains in the race is a day where Republicans - already reeling from across-the-board losses in the 2017 election that can be directly traced back to President Donald Trump's unpopularity - watch their brand further deteriorate.

Moore has held a 10-point lead in many polls, although his opponent, Democratic candidate Doug Jones was tied with Moore in a Fox News poll in October. Some Republicans conceded that Moore would likely suffer in the state's reliably, mainstream-Republican suburbs.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who ran her own successful write-in campaign in 2010, said: "If in fact what I just read is true, he needs to get out of this race immediately".

"It's a bad situation", said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committeeman from neighboring Mississippi.