Official: Alabama would honor decision if GOP asks to remove Moore as candidate

Alabama would honor a request by the state's Republican Party to remove Roy Moore as the party's Senate nominee should such a request be made, Alabama's secretary of state said Thursday.

Secretary of State John Merrill (R) told CNN "OutFront" host Erin Burnett that if the state GOP made the request, Moore would remain on the ballot but not appear as a Republican.

"He would not be removed from the ballot, but then again there's a number of other things that will follow a protocol if the party take that permanent step and if they do, we will adhere to their request and we will honor their request as we should by law, and then we'll make sure that the proper adjudication of the process is adhered to as the election continues," Merrill said.


Burnett then asked Merrill if he thought the accusations against Moore were "disqualifying." Moore was accused Thursday in a bombshell Washington Post report of a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when Moore was 32 and serving as an assistant district attorney in 1979.

"Well, I think most of the people in the state of Alabama would be very disappointed if someone who had been alleged to have engaged in that type of activity, had been proven that they had engaged in that activity, was continuing to represent them in any formal capacity," Merrill said.

"I just want to get a clear answer here, so you're saying 'yes,' you would think that is disqualifying?" Burnett asked.

"Yes, ma'am," he responded.

Moore has denied the accusations, saying in a statement to the Post that “these allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign."

Moore is set to face Democrat Doug Jones in a special election for Alabama's Senate seat in December. Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump to GOP: I will carry you GOP strategist: Trump will be anchor around Republicans' necks in general election Trump: I ‘destroy' careers of Republicans who say bad things about me MORE was appointed to the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSwalwell: I would have fired Strzok too Omarosa: Trump calls Education chief 'Ditzy' DeVos Ex-Reagan official: If Mueller had nothing, Trump 'would ignore him' MORE earlier this year. Moore beat Strange in the Republican primary.