Wall Street Journal: Bannon 'obvious loser' in Roy Moore controversy

Wall Street Journal: Bannon 'obvious loser' in Roy Moore controversy
© Greg Nash

The Wall Street Journal in a new editorial calls former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon an "obvious loser" in the controversy surrounding Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

In the piece published late Tuesday, the Journal's editorial board wrote that Moore's credibility in the face of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct has "fallen below the level of survivability."

It said it would be "sensible" for Moore to step aside in the Alabama Senate race. The editorial board added that if Moore declines to leave the race, it would be better if he loses because "Democrats and the media will make Mr. Moore the running mate of every Republican in 2018."

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"There is one other obvious loser in this debacle: Former White House aide Steve Bannon," the editors wrote.

"Some have argued that the Bannon insurgency against the Republican 'establishment' is in the mode of earlier party challenges led by Ronald Reagan or Newt Gingrich. This one isn’t close," they continued.

"The populism of Reagan and Mr. Gingrich was always about building the conservative movement into a majority that could govern and change the country."

The editorial said "Bannonites" want to defeat the existing majority to "show that they can depose" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWe don't need platinum to solve the debt ceiling crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble House passes standalone bill to provide B for Israel's Iron Dome MORE (R-Ky.).

"They have no discernible governing agenda beyond trade protectionism and slashing immigration, and those often appear to be convictions of convenience," the editorial said.

"It is hardly a surprise therefore that instead of recruiting talented candidates, Mr. Bannon is collecting cranks and outliers like Roy Moore who, demonstrably, will take the GOP into the minority."

The Journal said Republicans should learn that they need to nominate candidates who want to "achieve substantive policy goals" instead of "pouring their emotions into a political fringe that will always find a way to lose."

"Raging against the establishment for the sake of raging is an agenda for losers, and it will cost conservatives the votes in Congress they need to achieve conservative goals," the editorial said.

Moore is facing growing pressure from top Republicans to step aside in the Alabama Senate race after multiple women have accused him of sexual misconduct.

The Washington Post reported last week that a woman accused Moore of initiating a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32. Earlier this week, a woman came forward and accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.

Moore has denied the allegations and indicated he plans to stay in the race.

Bannon is backing Moore in Alabama's special Senate election. The Breitbart News chairman previously voiced his support for Moore after news of the allegations broke, saying last week that they were an attempt to "destroy" Moore's life.

Before the Post published its story on Moore, Breitbart News posted an article refuting the claims.

Since leaving the White House, Bannon has started to recruit insurgent GOP candidates across the country and has called for the ouster of establishment Republicans in Washington who he says have not supported Trump's agenda.