It didn’t take long after The Washington Post’s Thursday afternoon bombshell story—in which four women said that Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for Senate in Alabama, sexually pursued them when they were just teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his early thirties—for Republican senators to try and distance themselves from him, even as he denied the women’s claims.
Or for other Republicans to bend themselves into knots defending the former Alabama Supreme Court justice’s alleged behavior ahead of the state’s special election on December 12.
Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale spoke with multiple county GOP chairs who dismissed the Post story as a last-ditch conspiracy to derail Moore’s campaign.
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler, who supports Moore, told the Washington Examiner that the allegations, even if they are true, amount to “much ado about very little,” adding: “The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls and never attempted sexual intercourse.” He then invoked Biblical references.
“Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Zeigler added.
Joel Pollak, an editor at the far-right site Breitbart, accused the Post of grouping the “problematic” accusation of Moore’s sexual pursuit of a 14-year-old, with alleged sexual interactions with 16- and 18-year olds, which “have no business in that story, because those are women of legal age of consent at the time.”
During an interview on MSNBC, Pollak said the Post story consisted of “perfectly legitimate relationships as well as all kinds of other political clutter.” Breitbart pre-emptively published the Moore campaign’s rebuttal to the allegations before the Post story was published.