Controversial ex-Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice and now Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has found himself in real hot water in recent days following decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct. In a Washington Post article published earlier this week, a woman claimed that Moore sexually touched her when he was 32 years old and she was just 14 years old. Her claims were further supported by several other women who came forward to tell The Post that Roy Moore had targeted them for romance when they, too, were just teens. According to all of Moore’s alleged victims, his unwanted sexual touching and advances took place back in the late 1970s.
Despite being decades old, the claims of sexual misconduct by Roy Moore come at a critical time in his political career. Once an Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, he is currently running on the Republican ticket to fill the Senate seat left vacant when fellow Republican Jeff Sessions took the post as Trump administration attorney general. The special election for the Senate seat is slated to take place on December 12, with Moore pitted against Democrat Doug Jones. In the wake of this week’s sexual misconduct allegations, many on both sides of the political aisle have called for Roy Moore to step down if there is any truth to the claims.
As CNN reports, Roy Moore claimed on Friday afternoon that the allegations against him are “completely false,” adding that anyone who abuses a 14-year-old “shouldn’t be a Senate candidate.” According to the Republican politician, he doesn’t even know the woman who has come forward to accuse him of sexually abusing her decades ago when she was still in her teens. Moore says he believes that the unthinkable stories being circulated about him are “politically motivated,” adding that he thinks they were contrived and timed “only to stop a very successful campaign.”
Despite being in the midst of his high-profile Asia trip, Donald Trump also spoke out (via White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders) regarding the allegations against Moore and how he believes that the Senate candidate should handle the situation. Speaking on behalf of Trump to reporters aboard Air Force One, Sanders began by stating that the POTUS doesn’t believe that “mere allegations” against a person should “destroy a person’s life.” She went on to add that Trump thinks that, if the allegations of sexual misconduct are true, Roy Moore will “do the right thing and step aside.”
“…like most Americans the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life. However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”
Republican politicians have also weighed in on the Roy Moore sexual misconduct drama since the story broke Thursday. Some, like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, concede with Donald Trump, claiming that Moore should drop out of the Senate race if there is any truth to the allegations against him.
“If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, on the other hand, took a much harder and more decisive public stance against former Judge Roy Moore. As Huffington Post reports, Romney claims to believe Moore’s accuser. What’s more, Romney took to Twitter to call Moore “unfit for office,” advising the controversial Republican to step aside.
Republican Alabama state representative Ed Henry, however, has taken a completely different stance on the Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations. As The Hill reports, Henry not only says that he’s “not buying” the claims that have been made about his fellow Republican, but he also wants to see Moore’s alleged victims prosecuted for waiting so long to come forward.
“If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years. I think someone should prosecute and go after them. You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion.”
While the Trump White House has now drawn a political line in the sand regarding Roy Moore and the sexual misconduct allegations that have been leveled against the controversial Senate candidate, it seems highly unlikely that Moore has plans to drop out of the race anytime soon. After all, Trump and his team suggested that Moore should or would drop out only if the sexual misconduct allegations against him are true. According to Moore, who issued a written statement on Friday, he “never engaged in sexual misconduct.”
“I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct. As a father of a daughter and a grandfather of five granddaughters, I condemn the actions of any man who engages in sexual misconduct not just against minors, but against any woman.”
What do you think about the Roy Moore situation? Do you believe it’s appropriate to run for senator with sexual misconduct allegations hanging over your head? Do you think Moore is doing a disservice to his constituents by continuing his campaign? Or, do you believe that the former judge has been unfairly targeted for political purposes? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Brynn Anderson/AP Images]