This New Ad Running in Alabama Hits Roy Moore Where it Hurts Most

Doug Jones turns to Ivanka for help.

Doug Jones hasn’t had any problems raising money—the Alabama Democrat, who is vying to replace interim Sen. Luther Strange in next month’s special election, has outspent Republican Roy Moore 11-to-1 on the airwaves in the campaign’s home-stretch.

But Jones does have a problem with Alabama. Although Moore has been accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl in the 1970—after meeting her and her mother outside of a custody hearing, when Moore was a deputy district attorney—and although residents of his hometown have outlined a pattern of predatory behavior so pervasive that it resulted in Moore being persona non grata at his local mall, and although a string of Republicans have lined up to denounce Moore, Moore is still a Republican in an incredibly Republican state, and for that reason he still has a very good shot at winning

So what’s a squeaky-clean civil-rights prosecutor to do? On Tuesday, Jones released his first ad in response to the Moore scandal, and it features some familiar names, but not ones typically found in Democratic campaign ads—Ivanka Trump, Jeff Sessions, and Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby:

The ad comes at a critical moment in the race. Moore, who has trailed in most post-scandal polls, has been desperate for Trump to get off the sidelines and give the campaign a boost. And in the last few days, the White House has taken baby steps toward involving itself in the race. “We want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” White House advisor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Monday, while rattling off a string of pejoratives about Jones. But Ivanka Trump and Jeff Sessions really did say those things, and Jones seems determined to drive a wedge through the state’s Republican-heavy electorate.

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  • Tim Murphy

    Tim Murphy is a senior reporter at Mother Jones. Reach him at tmurphy@motherjones.com.