No sooner was Roy Moore jolted by sensational charges Thursday that he had made advances to four teenaged girls 38 years ago than Republicans began to discuss what to do about their nominee in Alabama’s special U.S. Senate election on Dec. 12.
In Washington, party leaders from Vice President Mike Pence on down said that if the story in The Washington Post—which includes the claim of one woman that Moore sought inappropriate contact with her when she was 14 — is accurate, the former Alabama chief justice should withdraw his candidacy for the Senate seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Pence told reporters he “found the allegations in the story disturbing and believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office.”
His words were echoed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardiner. Both said Moore should withdraw from the race “if the allegations are true.”
Moore himself has branded all charges “fake news,” vowed to remain in the race, and hinted he would sue the Post.
But, almost to a person, Republican leaders in Alabama who spoke to Newsmax rallied behind their already-controversial nominee and denounced both his accusers and the Post.
“Total contrived media garbage” is how former Mobile County GOP Chairman John Merrill described the accusations now being leveled against former state Chief Justice Moore.
“My gosh, it's The Washington Post!” exclaimed Alabama’s Republican National Committeeman Paul Reynolds. “If I’ve got a choice of putting my welfare into the hands of Putin or The Washington Post, Putin wins every time.”
Former State GOP Chairman Marty Conners told Newsmax that “if there is any politician who has been begging to exposed, it is Roy Moore. His very public reliance on Scripture and the Ten Commandments that got him removed as chief justice—all of this was just asking for someone to look into his past and see if there was something untoward.”
Conners recalled how Moore’s 2000 bid to be chief justice again was an opportune time to come out with exposures of his private life. So, he added, was the primary and run-off he went through this year to win the nomination over appointed Sen. Luther Strange.
“So no one says anything until a month before the election,” said Conners, reminding that he “was a Luther guy and not a Roy guy” in the primary. “Do you blame me for being suspicious of the whole matter? This all stinks to high heaven.”
Conner predicted that Moore would stay in the race and emerge triumphant in the race for Sessions’ seat.
“People are going to be voting on tax reform and repealing Obamacare and not on Roy Moore or [Democrat] Doug Jones,” said Conners. “And if Roy has lied to us about all of this, we’ll . . . get a new Republican when the seat is up next in 2018.”
Under state election law, Moore — even if he decided to withdraw — could not remove his name from the ballot in time for the election next month. According to an Alabama Fox 10 poll conducted days before the Post story, Moore leads Jones among likely voters by 52 to 41 percent.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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