The responses from Alabama GOP officials on Roy Moore's alleged sexual encounters are bizarre
- Several women have alleged that the Republican nominee for Alabama senator, Roy Moore, initiated sexual encounters with them several decades ago when they were underage.
- The responses from Alabaman GOP officials have reportedly ranged from outright denial, to alleging the accusers were operatives from the Democratic Party.
GOP officials from Alabama have been offering startling and occasionally bizarre responses when asked by reporters about the allegations that Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for Alabama senator, had sexual encounters with underaged girls nearly 40 years ago.
Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale contacted numerous GOP officials from the state, many of which either outright denied the claims, or accused the accusers of being Democratic operatives."It was 40 years ago," Alabama Marion County GOP chair David Hall reportedly said to Dale. "I really don't see the relevance of it. He was 32. She was supposedly 14. She's not saying that anything happened other than they kissed."
"There's nothing wrong with a 30-year-old single male asking a 19-year-old, a 17-year-old, or a 16-year-old out on a date," Hall continued .
According to The Post report , a woman named Leigh Corfman said that in 1979, Moore, then a 32-year-old district attorney, approached her in an Alabama courtroom and got her number. He later called the 14-year-old and drove her to his house, where, according to the report, he removed her clothes and touched her through her bra and underwear. Corfman also said that, in one interaction, Moore gave her alcohol.
Alabama Bibb County Republican chairman Jerry Pow suggested his support for Moore would not unwaver so long it was for the greater good of the party.
"I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn't want to vote for [Democratic nominee Doug Jones]," Pow said , according to Dale. "I'm not saying I support what he did."
Others took a more combative stance against the accusations."It does not really surprise me," Alabama Mobile County GOP chairman John Skipper said . "I think it is a typical Democratic - Democrat - ploy to discredit Judge Moore, a sincere, honest, trustworthy individual."
In one particularly strange instance, Alabama Covington County GOP Chairman William Blocker told Dale that he thought Democrats convinced the women in the report to lie about Moore. When Dale pointed out that Corfman was a Trump supporter, he said that's the "typical background" of someone Democrats would use for such a gambit.
"If they said she was a Hillary supporter, then she'd be more dismissed by the local voters here in the state of Alabama. You'd have to paint her as a Trump supporter to be of any credibility," Blocker said.
Three women other than Corfman were included in The Post's report, who told the newspaper that Moore had pursued relationships with them as teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18. The women said Moore did not engage in sexual conduct with them.
Read some of the GOP officials' comments here :
Me: "The story said she said he tried to get her to touch his genitals." Hall: "Well, she said he may have TRIED to. But we're talking something that somebody SAID happened, 40 years ago. It wouldn't affect whether or not I'd vote for him."- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
After a long pause, Alabama Bibb County Republican chairman Jerry Pow tells me he'd vote for Roy Moore even if Moore did commit a sex crime against a girl.- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
"I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn't want to vote for Doug," he says. "I'm not saying I support what he did."
Alabama Mobile County GOP chairman John Skipper: "It does not really surprise me. I think it is a typical Democratic - Democrat - ploy to discredit Judge Moore, a sincere, honest, trustworthy individual."- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
If these allegations against Moore were true, Mitch McConnell's anti-Moore allies would have obviously found them and released them during the primary, Mobile County Republican chairman John Skipper tells me.- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
"If they said she was a Hillary supporter, then she'd be more dismissed by the local voters here in the state of Alabama. You'd have to paint her as a Trump supporter to be of any credibility," Covington County GOP Chairman William Blocker says.- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
Tally from my calls to Alabama GOP county chairs: 4 vehemently pro-Moore, 3 no comment/"haven't read the story yet," 15 I couldn't reach, 0 criticism of Moore.- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
"Other than being with an underage person - he didn't really force himself," Alabama Geneva County GOP chairman Riley Seibenhener tells me. "I know that's bad enough, but I don't know. If he withdraws, it's five weeks to the election...that would concede it to the Democrat."- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 10, 2017
Alabama Geneva County GOP chairman Riley Seibenhener, who called me back, says he doesn't believe the allegations are true, but if they're true he won't support him - but, at the same time, it's not "forcible rape."- Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 10, 2017
"I know that 14-year-olds don't make good decisions," he adds.