After President Donald Trump officially endorsed Alabama’s Republican candidate for Senate Roy Moore, the Republican National Committee took this as a go ahead to throw its support behind the accused sexual predator as well.
“The RNC is the political arm of the president and we support the President,” a senior official with the RNC reported to CNN.
Moore has been accused of pursuing teenage girls, one reportedly as young as 14, when he was in his 30s; local residents of Gadsden, Ala., called Moore’s predatory behavior “common knowledge” around town.
Regardless, Trump made his support for Moore public early Monday morning on Twitter.
Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2017
Moore confirmed the endorsement as well, saying that the president offered “his full support.”
“Go get ’em, Roy!” – President Trump
Just got off the phone with President Trump who offered his full support and said he needs a fighter to help him in the US Senate.
I look forward to fighting alongside the President to #MAGA!
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) December 4, 2017
The GOP’s resurgence in support of Moore comes as polls show the disgraced Republican once again climbing ahead of his Democratic rival, Doug Jones, in the polls. A Nov. 28 poll by Emerson College found Moore leading Jones by 3 percentage points.
America First Action, a super PAC in support of Trump and his administration, on Monday announced it would put $1.1 million behind Moore, The Washington Post reported.
Politico reported on Nov. 14 that the RNC had withdrawn its support for Moore, citing a senior party official. Also around this time, to the surprise of many, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell had said Moore “should step aside” and that he believed the women who came forward.
McConnell has since reversed course, however. On Sunday he said on ABC News he would “let the people of Alabama make the call.” He skirted around the idea of taking any direct action himself should Moore win next week’s election, deflecting instead to the ethics committee.
“Look, they decide what to go forward,” McConnell said. He also refused to say whether or not he still believes the woman who accused Moore.
Some Republicans remained critical of Moore, but perhaps not as forcefully as they were before.
Second-ranking Republican Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) several weeks ago said he would “leave the final judgment in the hands of Alabama voters” but would “withdraw his endorsement,” according to Politico.
But on Monday Cornyn approached the topic more cautiously, according to the Post. “None of us get to vote on who’s the senator from Alabama. Just Alabama voters do. So I think we have to respect their decision — whatever it is,” he said.
Just a few Republicans remained forcefully committed against Moore even after Trump’s endorsement. Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2012, called Moore’s victims “courageous heroes” and Moore’s potential Senate career “a stain” on his party — as well as America.
Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) December 4, 2017
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) took back his endorsement of Moore last month — and this will not change, a spokesperson for Lee told the Post.
“Sen. Lee has unendorsed Judge Moore and called for him to step out of the race. Nothing has changed. Anything new on the issue would be premature at this point,” the spokesman told the publication.
The National Republican Senate Committee has also stated it would not support Moore in the race. Sen. Cory Gardner, the NRSC’s chairman, had previously said the Senate should expel Moore if he wins the election. According to CNN, an official reported that Gardner’s position had not changed.
Breitbart was the first to report the news that the RNC would once again be backing Moore. According to NBC, Breitbart’s chairman and a former adviser to Trump, Steve Bannon, will be rallying with Moore in Alabama on Tuesday evening.