Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said that voters would have to choose whether to trust GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore in light of allegations he assaulted teen girls when he was in his thirties.
No one should be subjected to “trial by newspaper,” Cotton told the Associated Press, apparently referring to the multiple women who accused Moore of assault or inappropriate relationships.
The Washington Post first published Nov. 9 accusations of several women who say they dated Moore in the 1970s and 80s, and several other women have come forward since then.
The voters in Alabama “are going to make that decision, just like the people of this country made their decision last year on Donald Trump,” Cotton said. Moore has denied all the allegations, claiming he is victim of an “attack on my character and reputation.”
Several senators have asked for Moore to drop out of the race in light of the allegations, and Republican Sen. Jeff Flake made a symbolic $100 donation to his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones.
Recent Alabama polls show Jones and Moore are far closer than expected for a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic U.S. senator since 1992. Moore is around two points ahead of Jones in Real Clear Politics’ poll average, after a few weeks where polling showed Jones snagging a late-race lead of a little under one percent.
Accusations against Moore have been compared to the allegations of rape and misconduct against President Donald Trump, particularly the “Access Hollywood” tape that was released just over a month before the 2016 election.
The Alabama special election will be held Dec. 12.
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