RNC reinstates support for Moore after Trump endorsement
The Republican National Committee is reinstating its support of Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore after initially cutting ties over allegations of sexual misconduct, two sources confirmed to The Hill Monday.
Breitbart News first reported that the RNC had decided to step back into the race just hours after President Trump fully endorsed the controversial candidate.
“We can confirm our involvement in the Alabama Senate race,” an RNC official told The Hill.
A second source close to the RNC told The Hill that “the Breitbart story is real.”
Trump endorsed Moore in a tweet to his millions of followers, as well as in a follow-up call aboard Air Force One, in which the president said, “Go get ’em, Roy.”
Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2017
The RNC’s change of heart comes after it and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the party’s Senate campaign arm, announced last month that they would not support Moore even after Trump stood by him.
The two GOP groups cut ties with Moore in October, halting their financial and field support for his bid as a chorus of Republican lawmakers called on him to step aside.
Their decision to break ties with Moore came after a handful of women alleged that he pursued relationships with them while they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
The youngest of the women says she was just 14 when Moore, then 32, touched her sexually.
Early Monday, Trump backed Moore, saying his vote is needed to push the Republican agenda in narrowly GOP-controlled Senate.
“The President had a positive call with Judge Roy Moore during which they discussed the state of the Alabama Senate race and the President endorsed Judge Moore’s campaign,” said White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah.
While Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations of wrongdoing, he faces an uncertain path even if he emerges victorious in the race for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s old Senate seat.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last month warned that Moore will immediately face a Senate Ethics Committee investigation if he wins the special election on Dec. 12. And NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) called for Moore to be expelled from the Senate.
The NRSC did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment on Monday evening.
Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Monday issued a severe rebuke of Moore shortly after Trump’s endorsement, saying the candidate’s victory would be “a stain on the GOP and on the nation.”
“Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation. Leigh Corfman and other victims are courageous heroes. No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity,” Romney tweeted, positioning himself to be diametrically opposed to both the president and the RNC.
Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, appears to be reaping a financial surplus from the fallout. Jones’s campaign raised more than $10 million in donations between Oct. 1 and Nov. 22, USA Today reported on Friday.
Moore leads Jones by an average of 2.6 points in Alabama polling, according to the RealClearPolitics.
Jonathan Easley contributed. Last updated at 9:57 p.m.
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