National Review calls for Moore to drop out of Senate race

The conservative National Review is calling for Roy Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race following allegations that he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor.

In an editorial titled “Roy Moore Should Drop Out,” the National Review writes that the allegations, first published Thursday by The Washington Post, are “credible,” even though there is “almost certainly no way to independently confirm them.”

“The statute of limitations on Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct long ago expired, but there is no such thing as a statute of limitations on standards,” the editorial reads. “Roy Moore is not a worthy standard-bearer for the Republican party, and his vulnerabilities are now endangering what should be a completely safe Senate seat.”

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According to the Post’s report, Moore pursued relationships with teenage women in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he was in his early 30s. Four women spoke with the Post on the record for the story, with one saying that when she was 14 and Moore was 32, he kissed her and touched her over her underwear.

“He stopped and took her home when she asked, but if Moore did what is described, he committed a crime,” the National Review’s piece reads.

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Moore dismissed the report as “fake news” and in an email to supporters on Thursday said he would “refuse to stand down” from the race.

Moore, an already controversial candidate because of his views on homosexuality and his record as a judge, defeated Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeExclusive: Bannon says Rosenstein could be fired 'very shortly' Senate GOP relieved after primary wins Blankenship: I’m Trumpier than Trump MORE in a run-off to become the GOP nominee to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Session. Moore will face Democrat Doug Jones in a special election next month and has been seen as the likely winner.

Strange was backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell says he backs Mueller probe after classified briefing Overnight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs Senate Dems’ campaign chief ‘welcomes’ midterm support from Clintons MORE (R-Ky.) and President Trump in the primary.

A number of senators have called for Moore to step aside, though most have added the caveat “if the allegations are true.”

The National Review editors predict that Moore will not drop out of the race, though they write it would be “the reasonable thing to do.”

“We, nonetheless, have little doubt that he will soldier on, and he might well still win in December,” the piece reads. “The better option would be to spare his party the exertions of defending him against these latest allegations (some of his colleagues have already disgraced themselves with absurd rationalizations), and back a new write-in candidate for the seat. That this would be the reasonable thing to do is one reason we assume Moore will do the opposite.”