George W. Bush ethics chief: No 'decent Christian ... can vote for Roy Moore.'


Not mincing words.

Right-wing radical Roy Moore's entire Senate campaign has been disgraceful and ugly, even before he was accused of being a pedophile.

And Moore's closing argument to Alabama voters the night before the election was no exception. Moore held a rally featuring former Trump strategist and smear merchant Steve Bannon. While some speakers openly disparaged Muslims, Moore's wife, Kayla, defended her husband against charges of anti-Semitism by saying that "one of our attorneys is a Jew."

On Tuesday, Richard Painter, who served as George W. Bush's ethics attorney, rightfully called out Moore and his campaign, not only for the very serious charges of sexual abuse and harassment against him, but for his long record of bigotry.


PAINTER: I don't think any decent Christian or anyone else could vote for Roy Moore. He says, specifically with respect to George Soros, that George Soros was going to go to hell because George Soros didn't believe in God, accept God as his savior. That is an attack on George Soros' religion. He is attacking Jews for not believing in Jesus and saying they're going to go to hell. And that's what he said, and his wife can't backtrack on that, saying well, we've got a Jewish lawyer. That doesn't work. And that doesn't fly anymore in American politics. We do not accept anti-Semitism, and I can't see how a decent Christian could go in there — or anybody else — go in there and vote for a man who spews hatred against gays, blacks, Jews, and seems to love teenage girls. This is unacceptable for Alabama or any other state in this country.

Painter's argument echoes a group of 70 pastors in Alabama who released a letter in November, calling Moore "not fit for office" and saying "he acts in ways that are contrary to our faith."

Painter is right, of course. Moore's long and disgraceful record, aside from the allegations that have emerged in the last month, should be unacceptable.

But not according to the Republican Party. With Donald Trump, the Republican National Committee, and a disappointing number of elected Republicans supporting Moore, it is possible that the deep red state of Alabama will elect him, despite all of the many reasons he is unfit for this or any other office.

The massive Republican effort to elect Moore might well succeed. But that would not change the simple fact that Moore and his supporters are a disgrace, and it should indeed be unacceptable in American politics.