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A leading news website in Alabama is calling on the GOP to pull its support of Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct. AL.com's editorial board, including the largest paper in the state, the Birmingham News, published a piece Monday evening that calls Moore "grossly unfit for office."
"The seriousness of these incidents cannot be overstated. They should not be parsed with talk of statutes of limitations or whether proof exists. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a consideration for the courtroom, not the ballot box. When choosing our representative before the rest of the world, character matters." After its own independent investigation, AL.com and the Birmingham News's editorial board said it had "no reason to doubt the accounts."
"We believe these women," the editorial board said.
"It's time that he and his party read the writing on the wall: His candidacy is over. His true character has been revealed. It's time for the GOP to remove its official support," the editorial concludes. "And since he and his party can't assure it, the voters of Alabama must."
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"So the path for Democrat and former Federal Prosecutor Doug Jones is probably:
These first few polls conducted since the Moore news broke could represent just the beginning of his electoral deterioration. Polls taken immediately after Senate candidate Todd Akin used the phrase "legitimate rape" during the 2012 campaign underestimated his eventual slide in the polls compared to later surveys in the Missouri Senate race. On the other hand, Moore might be able to convince Alabama Republicans that a vote for him is a vote against Democrats, the media and cultural elites, and that the allegations he faces and the Washington Post story that first reported them are part a political attack against him. That appears to be his strategy in the wake of this controversy."
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement that if the allegations are true, they would disqualify Moore from the special election in December. "These allegations are disqualifying if true. Anyone who would do this to a child has no place in public office, let alone the United States Senate," Ryan said in a statement.
In a tweet, Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., called for that "creepy Roy Moore dude" to step aside from the campaign. "It's about that time for that creepy Roy Moore dude to exit stage left. He should step aside & let someone take his spot on the ballot who doesn't prey upon young teenage girls as a grown man," he said.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said if the allegations are true, President Trump believes that "Moore will do the right thing and step aside." "Like most Americans, the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person's life. However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside."
Vice President Mike Pence "found the allegations in the story disturbing and believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office," his press secretary, Alyssa Farah, told reporters.