Republicans are grappling with the bombshell news that Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore sexually abused multiple teenage girls, but some are rushing to Moore’s defense.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that a woman said the Republican nominee initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32. He also pursued other teenagers, the Post reported.
Moore, now 70, has denied all the allegations, calling them a coordinated attack against his campaign. He is a former judge twice removed from the bench for judicial misconduct.
Most Republicans are distancing themselves from Moore, including the White House, but there is also a faction of the party that have decided to stand by him.
Breitbart News, the far-right website run by Steve Bannon, published an article defending Moore, arguing that it was “romantic” for a man in his 30s to date a person less than half their age. Breitbart editor Joel Pollack further argued the point on MSNBC Thursday, saying that the relationships between Moore and the women 16 and over are not an issue (Alabama’s age of consent is 16).
“There are several cases mentioned and of those cases, only one would be legally problematic,” he said. “All of the others were legal relationships with women who were of age at the time when Roy Moore was single.”
Another bizarre explanation came from Alabama’s State Auditor, Jim Ziegler, who basically argued that Moore did nothing wrong based on the Bible.
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” he told the Washington Examiner.
He added: “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
For now, many are watching the polls to see the repercussions of the news, and if it will swing voters in a conservative Alabama.