State, national GOP officials differ on support for Moore

November 13, 2017

By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter

As the dust settles on Roy Moore’s recent allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor, clear battle lines in the GOP were drawn.

The Washington Post published a report last week that said Moore groped a 14-year-old in 1979 when he was a 30-year-old assistant district attorney in Alabama. The report also said Moore pursued relationships with teenage girls when he was in his late 30s.

Moore’s campaign has hit back at the report labeling it a “hit job” by the Post.

Many national GOP members, primarily in the U.S. Senate, asked Moore to withdraw if the allegations are true.

Among the Senate, only U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., called on Moore to resign outright.

While not calling on Moore to resign, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., tweeted on Saturday that Moore’s candidacy was “a bridge too far,” even before the Post report.

Two U.S. senators also retracted their endorsements of Moore, including Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who had endorsed him days prior.

Moore also lost a joint fundraising agreement from the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Friday.

These statements come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called on Moore to resign if the allegations were true.

McConnell has been a popular target of Moore.

In a recent email to supporters, Moore’s campaign laid the blame on McConnell for his recent troubles. The email from Moore’s campaign said Moore was “abandoned by Washington’s establishment Republicans.”

Outside of the Senate, President Donald Trump, who was in Asia for a foreign visit, called on Moore to withdraw, too, if the allegations were true.

On the Homefront, support for Moore was strong.

Both state Auditor Jim Zeigler and state Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, made national news when they gave their defense of Moore.

Zeigler said that Moore’s relationships with teenagers were justified based on Biblical terms.

“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler told the Washington Examiner. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

Henry said Moore was the actual victim in an interview on CNN with Anderson Cooper. He said he was suspicious of the women who came forward to say Moore had pursued them. After some backlash, Henry took to Twitter to clarify his position.

“Clearing the air,” Henry wrote. “I don’t believe victims of sexual assault should be prosecuted. I believe people who falsely accuse should be accountable.”

Moore beat his opponent U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., in September. He will face Democrat Doug Jones in four weeks.

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