Republican senators are pulling their support of Alabama GOP candidate Roy Moore over allegations, first published in the Washington Post, that he pursued sexual encounters with four teenage girls decades ago, when he was in his 30s.
Friday evening, two GOP senators stated that they could no longer support Moore, weeks ahead of the special election in Alabama for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s old seat:
I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate.— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) November 10, 2017
Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate.— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) November 10, 2017
They didn’t say what Republican voters in Alabama should do instead. Because it’s too late for Moore to be removed from the ballot, the main options would be to stay home, write in another candidate, or vote for Moore’s opponent, Democrat Doug Jones.
Initially, GOP senators hedged their condemnation of Moore, saying some version of he should step aside or they would hold their endorsements, if the allegations were true.
The timing of Republican lawmakers’ decisions to cut ties with the controversial candidate seemed to coincide with an interview Moore gave on Sean Hannity’s radio program Friday afternoon. He addressed the accusations and called the Post story “completely false,” but admitted to knowing two of the women cited in the report and “didn’t dispute” that he had dated teens.