Republicans Call on Roy Moore to Quit Senate Race If Bombshell Report Is True

The key word is “if.”

Bill Clark/ZUMA

Nearly a dozen Republican senators, including majority leader Mitch McConnell, have called on Roy Moore to bow out of Alabama’s upcoming special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat if the allegations detailed in a bombshell Washington Post report prove true. The Post reports that Moore, a religious conservative known for his extremist views, pursued relationships with teenage girls—one as young as 14—when he was in his 30s. 

The statue of limitations has long since passed, so it’s unclear what further proof Republican senators would need beyond the on-the-record accounts of the four women who spoke to the Post about their experiences with Moore. Moore’s exit from the high profile race is unlikely because Alabama law prohibits candidates from withdrawing within 74 days of an election. With the special election scheduled for December 12, Moore’s name will remain on the ballot even if he does decide to drop out.

The former judge has vehemently denied the report, dismissing the allegations as a political attack. In a statement, Moore appeared to accuse the Post of plotting to sink his bid with the story because the paper endorsed his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones. 

Moore has attracted national attention for his extremist conservative views, which include the frequent use of racial slurs, support for criminalizing homosexuality, and Islamophobia. In 2003, he was removed from his office of chief justice for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from his courtroom.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) went a step further and demanded Moore step aside immediately.