Moore to Be Said
Roy Moore pledges to keep fighting, but he's losing support, momentum and believability.
Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, still feeling the heat from the allegations of sexual misconduct 40 years ago, pledges to press on in his race. The special election is Dec. 12.
On Friday afternoon, Moore interviewed with Sean Hannity to defend himself. He not only denied the story of Leigh Corfman, the primary accuser in The Washington Post’s exposé, he denied even knowing her. “I don’t know Ms. Corfman from anybody,” Moore said. “The allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false.”
Three other women claim Moore either had or attempted to have a dating relationship with them when he was in his 30s and they were teens (above Alabama’s age of consent, 16). When Hannity asked about these or similar relationships, Moore was ambiguous: “No, not generally. … I’m not going to dispute anything. … It would have been out of my customary behavior. … I don’t remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go out on dates then we did. But I do not remember that. … I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”
The problem with his denial of Corfman’s story is that witnesses at the time — including her mother — corroborate the story. And according to former deputy district attorney Teresa Jones, a prosecutor who worked with Moore in the early 1980s, “It was common knowledge that Roy dated high school girls. Everyone we knew thought it was weird. We wondered why someone his age would hang out at high school football games and the mall … but you really wouldn’t say anything to someone like that.”
Other women who experienced sexual abuse say that Corfman’s story — and especially her reasons for taking so long to tell it — resonate with them.
Gloria Allred, feminist extraordinaire, will hold a press conference today with a new accuser. Horrible that it’s a new accuser; dismissible because Allred’s involved.
Even Moore’s defenders are either not denying his odd relationships or they’re bizarrely using Scripture to justify the behavior.
All of this is to say the allegations are hard to dismiss as unbelievable … except for the timing of what was an obvious smear by the Democrats’ favorite paper, The Washington Post. In fact, Moore has threatened to sue the Post. Furthermore, one of the women talking about her dating relationship with Moore, Deborah Gibson, was a Clinton campaign volunteer, though Corfman says she’s a Republican.
In any case, as we said Friday, things don’t look good for Moore. He’s losing both endorsements and money from fellow Republicans. Recent polling shows the gap closing between him and Democrat opponent Doug Jones, and it’s too late to remove his name from the ballot. That, of course, was the point of the Post running the story when it did.
As Mark Alexander puts it, “It is prudent to leave the door open for an ounce of doubt when The Washington Post runs a story with 40-year-old allegations of sex abuse a month ahead of an election, against a candidate who has been a public figure for most of those 40 years with not a (public) peep about these allegations previously. At best the allegations are totally unprovable and false, but the Post colluded with his accusers and timed the release of the story to affect the outcome of the election. At worst the allegations remain unprovable and true, but the Post colluded with his accusers and timed the release of the story to affect the outcome of the election.”
Update: Beverly Young Nelson has accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16. It’s on a whole different level from previous accusation. Moore called Allred, the feminist lawyer holding the press conference, “a sensationalist leading a witch hunt.” Mitch McConnell has called on Moore to drop out of the race. Cory Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called Moore “unfit to serve,” adding, “If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him.”