Mitt Romney called Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore “unfit” Friday and said he should “step aside” due to allegations the former state supreme court justice had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.
Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) November 10, 2017
Moore, who won the Alabama Senate Republican primary in September, was accused of initiating sexual encounters with multiple under age women in the 1970s, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Moore has strenuously denied the allegations and launched a preemptive campaign to insulate himself in a Breitbart News story published shortly before the WaPo report.
Romney’s insistence that Moore should remove himself from consideration breaks with statements made by a number of prominent Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump, who hedged their responses, saying that Moore should step aside only if the allegations are true.
“Like most Americans, the president does not believe we can allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life. However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday.
In a formal statement issued on behalf of all Republican senators McConnell said simply, “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”
Romney is however joined by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who was quick to accept the veracity of the allegations.
I’ve long opposed Roy Moore & his divisive viewpoints. The actions described make him unfit for office. The GOP must not support him. He should step aside.
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) November 10, 2017
GOP Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain also decided to forego the “if true” stipulation.
“The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying,” McCain said. “He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”
Regardless of whether Moore decides to step aside, his name will likely remain on the ballot as they have already been printed, The Daily Caller News Foundation learned Thursday.
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