Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Take a stand now against Roy Moore
Last week, The Washington Post published a blockbuster investigative piece alleging that Roy Moore, the bigoted, right-wing extremist Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl while he was in his 30s and preyed on at least three other teenagers.1 This week, another woman came forward with her story of being assaulted by Moore.2
After several days of relentless pressure, many Senate Republicans are scrambling to distance themselves from Moore. Sen. Cory Gardner, head of Senate Republicans’ fundraising arm, has said the Senate should vote to expel Moore if he wins next month’s special election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he believes the women who have come forward with their stories and Moore should “step aside.”3
McConnell helped put a sexual predator in the White House in order to advance Republicans’ dangerous agenda. His words mean nothing if he does not use his power to take action now. He should commit to keeping Moore out of the Republican caucus if Moore wins. More than 92,000 CREDO members have already signed our petition demanding that McConnell act. Can you add your name today?
Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: It is time to use your authority to take a public stand against Roy Moore.
Moore’s entire political career has been based on intolerance and religious-based right-wing extremism. He promoted the birther conspiracy that President Obama was not born in the U.S., has said that Muslims should not be able to hold office and believes that fertilized eggs should have personhood rights.4 He was twice suspended from the Alabama Supreme Court for failing to follow court orders – once for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse and later for using his authority to block marriage equality.5
If that were not enough to prove his extreme homophobia, while on the Alabama Supreme Court, he denied a woman custody of her children because she was in a same sex relationship – claiming that her “lifestyle” was just as bad for the children as facing physical abuse from their father.6
Not surprisingly, Moore doubled down in the face of the Post’s reporting. He followed Trump’s lead saying the report is “the very definition fake news” – the same line Trump used to defend himself against numerous allegations of sexual assault.7,8
If Sen. McConnell wants to back up his words with action, he needs to make it clear that he will not welcome Moore into the Republican caucus even if he manages to win the election. If McConnell fails to lead, he will be doubling down, just like toxic candidate Roy Moore. He will be confirming that when it comes to standing with women or advancing his party’s dangerous agenda, he chooses party every time.
Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Use your authority to take a public stand against Roy Moore.
Moore has rejected the calls for him to step aside saying he has a “duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values.”9 Republican leaders in Alabama have Moore’s back. They are rallying to Moore’s defense, framing the story as a “he said, she said” situation and downplaying the seriousness of sexual assault on a 14 year-old, who legally could not consent to any sexual activity, and who recalled that she just “wanted it to be over.”10,11,12
State Auditor Jim Zeigler compared it to Mary and Joseph parenting Jesus saying, “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here.” A Republican party county chairman even defended Moore staying in the race saying: “Other than being with an underage person — he didn’t really force himself... If he withdraws, it’s five weeks to the election... that would concede it to the Democrat.”13
Clearly partisan politics and their extreme right-wing agenda matters more to Moore and his lackeys than the damage he’s caused as a sexual predator, but Moore’s commitment to staying in the race puts the spotlight back on Republican leaders like McConnell.14
If McConnell really cared about interrupting an entrenched culture of misogyny that lets men get away with demeaning, harassing, objectifying and assaulting women, he would announce now that he will not ever welcome Moore as a member of his caucus.
Can you help keep the pressure on him to act and help us expose him spineless political game playing if he fails?
Thanks for everything you do.
- Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites, "Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32,” The Washington Post, Nov. 9, 2017
- Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Jonathan Martin, “A Fifth Woman Accuses Senate Candidate Roy Moore of Sexual Misconduct,” The New York Times, Nov. 13, 2017.
- Robin Marty, “All the Ways Roy Moore Will Be Awful for Anyone Who's Not a Straight White Christian Man,” Cosmopolitan, Nov. 7, 2017.
- Rebekah Entralgo, “This is what Roy Moore has said about child abuse and sexual assault,” ThinkProgress, Nov. 9, 2017.
- Mallory Shelbourne, "Moore campaign: Washington Post story 'garbage' that defines 'fake news'," The Hill, Nov. 9, 2017.
- Glenn Kessler, “Donald Trump says sexual harassment claims are 'fake news' — but this is what corroborators say,” Independent, Oct. 29, 2017.
- Ben Kamisar, “Moore after sexual allegations: 'I refuse to stand down',” The Hill, Nov. 9, 2017.
- Daniel Dale, “Alabama Republicans defend Roy Moore over allegations he had sexual contact with 14-year-old,” The Toronto Star, Nov, 9. 2017.
- Julie Alderman, “Breitbart runs defense after women say Roy Moore made sexual advances while they were teenagers,” Media Matters, Nov, 9. 2017.
- McCrummen et al., "Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32."
- Dale, “Alabama Republicans defend Roy Moore over allegations he had sexual contact with 14-year-old,” Nov, 9. 2017.
- Addy Baird, “Alabama Republicans are making outlandish excuses for Roy Moore’s alleged sexual abuse,” ThinkProgress, Nov. 9. 2017.