President Donald Trump broke his silence Tuesday on Judge Roy Moore’s run for the United States Senate. On the same day, a spokesman for the Alabama Republican held a press conference to present apparent inconsistencies in allegations made against Moore. The first of these events is interesting because it was eagerly anticipated; the second because it was not covered by the establishment media.
Ben DuPré, an ally of Moore’s, along with campaign spokesman Stan Cooke, provided lengthy rebuttals to two of the most specific allegations against the candidate. They referenced court documents and the recollections of several individuals to cast doubt upon the accusations made by both Leigh Corfman and Beverly Young Nelson. They also referenced the rumor that Moore had been banned from a shopping mall for his predatory behavior, noting that the man who managed operations for the mall at that time claimed no knowledge of such a ban.
A Compelling Defense of Roy Moore?
Certainly, the information presented at the press conference was sufficiently compelling that no establishment media entity chose to cover any of the details. A CNN report on the event painted only a broad brush; reproducing some general statements of denial from the Moore team without reporting any of the specific details presented.
Most notably, a statement from Rhonda Ledbetter was used to dispute the allegations made by Nelson, who claimed that Moore had picked her up from the restaurant where she worked and assaulted her. Ledbetter worked at Olde Hickory House restaurant for about three years, at the time the incident allegedly took place. Her recollections appear to disprove Nelson’s account of events in several ways.
It would not seem possible to ever conclusively prove, or disprove, the allegations made against Roy Moore. The Judge does now seem to have amassed contradicting statements from a far greater number of people than the number who have alleged misconduct by him.
President Trump Endorses Without Endorsing
Heating up the fight between Moore and his opponents, the president made some brief remarks to reporters Tuesday. As he departed the White House for Thanksgiving, Trump noted that Moore completely denies the allegations, while being careful not to say, directly, that he did not believe the Judge’s accusers. Trump did not directly endorse Moore, but stated that his Democratic opponent would not be good for the Senate.
“We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” Trump said, “Jones – I’ve looked at his record. It’s terrible on crime. It’s terrible on the border. It’s terrible on the military.”
Recent polls showed Democrat Doug Jones with a sizable lead in the race for what should have been a very safe Republican seat. According to a report in The Hill, a poll released Tuesday shows the two candidates in a virtual dead heat. Conducted by Strategy Research for a Montgomery-based news network, the poll has Roy Moore at 47% and Jones at 45% with a two-point margin of error.
The election for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat is just three weeks away. Alabama is not a place where voters are easily swayed, especially not by the establishment media. Political allegiances run deep, and it may yet turn out that, despite Moore’s alleged misconduct, he will save the seat for the Republican Party and deny Democrats a surprise victory. What, then, will Republican Senators do about the man who will then be both their new ally and a thorn in their side?