Alabama Senate candidate Moore calls
allegations 'dirty politics'
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[November 28, 2017]
By John Whitesides
HENAGAR, Ala. (Reuters) - Embattled
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore said on Monday the
allegations of sexual misconduct against him were evidence of the moral
failings of leaders in Washington and meant to distract attention from
the real issues.
Hitting the campaign trail for the first time in more than two weeks,
when the charges first disrupted the race, Moore said the allegations
were false and malicious and politicians in both parties were desperate
to see him fail.
"This is simply dirty politics. It's a sign of the immorality of our
times," Moore told about 125 supporters who jammed a rural community
center in northeast Alabama, speaking just over two weeks before a Dec.
12 special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions
when he was appointed U.S. attorney general earlier this year.
Republican lawmakers in Washington, including Senate Republican leader
Mitch McConnell, have rushed to distance themselves from Moore and
called for him to step down from the race after he was accused by
several women of sexual assault and misconduct when they were teenagers
and he was in his early 30s. Reuters has not been able to independently
verify those allegations.
Moore said the allegations were designed to distract from "the true
issues" facing people and that Senate leaders understood he was
difficult to manage and did not want to deal with him.
"Politicians will stop at nothing to win an election," said Moore, who
has accused the media of joining in the effort to malign him.
Outside the rally, a man wearing a Moore sticker pushed away a cameraman
as he attempted to film Moore's arrival, local media reported. A
reporter for the Birmingham News, in a tweet, identified the man as Tony
Goolsby, the DeKalb County chairman for the Moore campaign.
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Roy Moore participates in the Mid-Alabama Republican Club's
Veterans Day Program in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, U.S., November 11,
2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
President Donald Trump defended Moore last week, but a White House
official said Trump would not campaign for Moore before the Dec. 12
Trump has repeatedly slammed Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug
Jones, a former U.S. attorney, calling him a liberal and saying that
Jones would not vote for a tax overhaul plan now being debated in
Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate and are eager
to maintain their advantage to pass Trump's legislative agenda on
taxes, healthcare and other priorities.
But Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama told reporters on
Monday he had not voted for Moore, writing in a candidate instead.
He did not say whom he wrote in.
Moore had largely stayed off the campaign trail and avoided
questions since the allegations first surfaced in the Washington
Post. The Jones campaign has taken notice and begun criticizing his
Before the rally, a Moore representative warned the crowd against
any "outbursts" and said Moore would not be taking questions.
(Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Leslie
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