Jeb Bush joins Republicans calling on Moore to step down

Jeb Bush on Monday joined growing Republicans calls for Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore to step down after Moore allegedly had a sexual encounter with a minor.

“This is not a question of innocence or guilt like in a criminal proceeding, this is a question of what’s right and what’s wrong. Acknowledging that you’re dating teenagers when you’re 32 years old as assistant state attorney is wrong. It’s just plain wrong,” the former Republican presidential candidate and Florida governor said during an interview on CNBC

“We need to stand for basic principles, and decency has to be one of those,” he continued. “In the really poisonous political environment we have right now, one of the rules I think has to apply is that when you attack somebody on the other party, and the other team, for doing something wrong, when it happens on your team you have an obligation, I think, to speak out as well.”


Moore has been under growing pressure from Republicans to drop out of the Senate race after The Washington Post published a story detailing an account from a 53-year-old woman who said she had a sexual encounter with Moore in 1979, when she was 14 years old and he was 32.

The report also included accounts from three other women who said Moore made advances to them around that time, when they were between 16 and 18 years old.

Bush said Monday the focus on Moore is potentially problematic as Republicans look to push forward tax reform in both chambers of Congress. 

Bush said he agreed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Fireworks on health care expected at Dem debate | Trump FDA pick dodges on vaping ban | Trump to host meeting on youth vaping Friday | AMA calls for immediate vaping ban GOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (R-Ky.), who earlier on Monday called for Moore to “step aside.”

Numerous other lawmakers have called on Moore to step aside if the allegations are true. Some have suggested rallying a write-in campaign around Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeState 'certificate of need' laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries Roy Moore trails Republican field in Alabama MORE (R-Ala.), who lost to Moore in a GOP primary runoff in September.

The deadline for the party to remove Moore’s name from the ballot passed in October.

A poll conducted after the report was published shows Moore with a 10-point lead over Democratic nominee Doug Jones.