The Republican Party remains in complete turmoil over Roy Moore's candidacy, as politicians scramble to distance themselves from his sex crimes without alienating the rabidly right-wing GOP base.
Republican politicians continue to scramble in the wake of the shocking allegations against Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore. While several U.S. senators have called for him step aside, convinced that the claims that he sexually pursued and assaulted underage girls make him unqualified for the job, some Republicans in local districts are caught trying to distance themselves while simultaneously courting the right-wing fringe base of GOP voters who still support him.
One such Republican is Tennessee's state Sen. Mark Green, who’s running to succeed Rep. Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District. Blackburn is among the most conservative members of Congress, which means Green likely doesn’t want to offend fringe voters in the district.
But as Moore is accused of pedophilia, it's tough to just come right out and say you're OK with his candidacy.
Green’s unusual strategy to date is to simply delete all his previous public statements supporting Moore, while doggedly refusing to answer questions from reporters about whether he still backs Moore’s floundering candidacy.
Green attended a rally for Moore in September and tweeted “Proud to call him a friend!” after Moore’s primary victory over incumbent Luther Strange, according to a report in the Nashville Post. “Both the tweet and a Facebook post showing the two meeting in Alabama have been deleted.” In another deleted tweet, Green gushed, “Fantastic event in Mobile, AL with Judge soon to be US Senator Roy Moore!”
The Post notes that Green and his wife have donated a combined $5,400 to Moore’s campaign in September.
But if Green’s scrubbing the record, does that mean he now longer supports the candidate who five women now accuse of sexual misconduct? Not quite. “Multiple phone calls, emails and texts to both Green and his campaign staff asking about his support for Moore have not been returned.”
The Moore fiasco has completely tied the GOP up in knots. On Tuesday, Moore supporter Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was captured on video dashing down a stair case in Washington, D.C., refusing to face a reporter’s questions.
The comical scene has since been immortalized on Twitter:
😂 INFINITE LOOP 😂 pic.twitter.com/zGHmDDK5pq
— AM to DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) November 15, 2017
Meanwhile, there’s a strong push from establishment players for Moore to drop out. “It’s overwhelming that the man has a problem,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters on Wednesday. He called on the Republican Party of Alabama to fix the problem.
But even if Moore drops out, his name remains on the state ballot, which means there’s a growing chance that a Democrat could be soon be elected in a state Trump won by 28 points last year.