In April, Palmer Report told you about a poll result that asked registered Republicans in Alabama about which potential challengers they want to run against Democratic Senator Doug Jones in the 2020 election. Roy Moore, the credibly accused pedophile who lost to Jones in 2017, had a much higher favorable impression than any other contender. At the time, Moore was still deciding whether he would throw his hat in the ring again, and we told you that if he did, things could quickly get worse for him.
On Thursday, Moore announced he will indeed be running again in 2020 to represent Alabama in the Senate. When asked by a reporter what he would do differently this time to win, Moore’s response was revealing: “I would like to make more personal contact with people.” For someone who is trying to run away from accusations of chasing and molesting girls while in his 30s, that does not sound like a winning strategy.
Sure enough, things have gotten worse for Moore as well as for the Republican Party. A few weeks ago, the President of the United States took time out of his busy schedule to pen a two-part tweet threatening Moore not to run. Trump wrote: “Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t….. If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating….Judges and Supreme Court Justices!”
Just prior to Moore’s announcement on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told The Associated Press: “He can do what he wants to, but we’re certainly going to oppose him in every way.” Following Moore’s announcement, other GOP leaders quickly chimed in with their disapproval of Moore. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Moore is “doing a disservice to all conservatives across the country in the process.” Jack Pandol, communications director of the Senate Leadership Fund, issued a statement warning “that nominating Roy Moore would be gift wrapping this Senate seat for Chuck Schumer.”
These responses reveal what the GOP is all about these days. Political parties, of course, need to weigh the politics behind supporting any candidate’s campaign. But GOP leaders are not even pretending to care about Moore’s background. They could have gone on record as being troubled by the many credible allegations of sexual misconduct. But Republican “leadership” is signaling that winning is the only thing that matters, not taking a stand on the criminal or moral character of candidates. It’s all about electability, and when it comes to Senate seats, Moore is less.