Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore declared that America has always been great despite the various issues the country has had to work through since her founding at an Alabama rally.
Moore tried to explain President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” when one of the few black members of the crowd asked Moore what Trump means when he says it, according to a audio released from the Los Angeles Times.
“I think we’ve been striving for the greatness all the way through,” Moore said. “I think you’re right about that. And I think it was great in the minds of those who formed the Declaration, though they were not perfect people. They had problems. Those problems have been corrected by-unfortunately war, by constitutional amendment…I think it was great at a time when families were united even though we had slavery.”
Later in the interview, he indicated that he believes slavery was a “problem.”
“The greatness I see was in our culture, not in all our policies,” he said. “There were problems. We had slavery, we’ve overcome slavery.”
Moore is currently battling accusations of sexual misconduct with minors after a bombshell Washington Post report dropped and a few other women came forward. Moore has denied all allegations, though Republican leadership has called on the former judge to step down.
“I think he should have dropped out, just because the polling has changed doesn’t change my opinion on the matter. So I stand behind what I said before,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Thursday.
Editor’s note: We updated this piece to reflect audio that was published on Moore’s comments.
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