By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
The recent embracement of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore by key Republicans has been met with a backlash from some of the party’s most influential members.
It began on Monday when President Donald Trump broke his silence on Moore and endorsed him outright in a tweet.
Previously, the president had a non-committal position on Moore and his recent allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers as a man in his 30s.
Since the allegations first reported by the Washington Post, two more women have come forward alleging Moore pursued relationships with them while they were underaged.
The Moore campaign has denied the allegations, and have said the allegations are a targeted effort to undermine his candidacy.
The president’s endorsements come after Republicans narrowly passed a tax reform bill out of the Senate. The passage was clearly present in the president’s endorsement in which Trump once again took a swipe at Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, for his left-leaning views.
“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” Trump tweeted early Monday morning. “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!”
Along with the president’s endorsement, came the support of the Republican National Committee, which had previously cut a fundraising venture with Moore. Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan confirmed through a press release on Tuesday that the Committee had sent money for Moore to the state party.
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who previously called for Moore’s withdraw, moderated his position Sunday saying that voters in Alabama should “make the call.”
While Moore has enjoyed support from some Washington Republicans, others have flatly rejected the firebrand Senate candidate and highlight a growingly divided Republican party.
Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, responded to the president’s endorsement by writing a $100 check to Jones declaring “Country over party” in the memo of the check.
Flake, who announced his retirement earlier this year, has been a staunch critic of Moore, calling on him to resign since the allegations by the Washington Post were first reported.
Mitt Romney, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts and 2012 GOP presidential candidate, offered his own comments blasting Moore.
“Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation,” Romney tweeted. “Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.”
Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado and chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has remained silent on Moore’s return to favor with the RNC, but according to filings from the Federal Elections Commission has not joined the RNC’s effort to fund Moore’s campaign
Gardner previously called for Moore’s withdraw and even suggested that he would be expelled from the Senate if he won the election.
The former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, never one to not answer a challenge, responded in his usual pugnacious way with tweets directed at his detractors.
Moore called for more donations in the wake of Flake’s donation to Jones’ campaign and took the opportunity to question the Arizona senator’s record on immigration. Moore was equally dismissive to Romney in a afternoon tweet on Monday.
“Either [Mitt Romney] has lost his courage or he doesn’t care about truth anymore,” Moore wrote. “Sad day! America’s reawakening was led by [Donald Trump], not you Mitt.”
Moore is still confident that he will win the election on Tuesday, despite polls showing a rather tight race between him and Jones. Instead Moore has taken an approach that implicates National Republicans and national media in a conspiracy to undermine his campaign in a recent email to supporters.
“Worse yet, at the same time, the Republican establishment and the media continue to viciously attack my character and drag me through the mud without any facts to back up their outrageous statements,” the email read.
Moore and Jones face off in less than a week for one of Alabama’s U.S. Senate seats.