Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of having improper relations with multiple teenage girls on Thursday — but his defenders within the GOP nonetheless rushed to his defense by trying to downplay the scandal.
Even though Moore himself is denying the allegations of his accusers — which include one woman who says Moore tried to make her touch his genitals when she was just 14 years old — many of Moore’s allies have said that they wouldn’t at all be bothered by them even if they were true.
Below are the six most deplorable excuses Republicans have made on Moore’s behalf.
1.) Moore “didn’t really force himself” on the 14-year-old. Alabama Geneva County GOP chairman Riley Seibenhener told reporter Daniel Dale that he wasn’t comfortable with Moore trying to have sex with a 14-year-old girl back when the GOP Senate candidate was in his 30s, but he said things could have been much worse.
“Other than being with an underage person — he didn’t really force himself,” Seibenhener told Dale.
Alabama Geneva County GOP chairman Riley Seibenhener, who called me back, says he doesn't believe the allegations are true, but if they're true he won't support him – but, at the same time, it's not "forcible rape."
"I know that 14-year-olds don't make good decisions," he adds.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 10, 2017
2.) Moore’s relationship with the 14-year-old girl was “consensual.” Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday tried to downplay the Moore scandal by noting that Moore’s relationship with the 14-year-old seemed to have been “consensual.”
Hannity later insisted that he misspoke when called out on it by CNN’s Jake Tapper, who pointed out that 14 year olds cannot legally give “consent” to sex with 30-year-old men.
3.) Mary was also a teenager when she gave birth to Jesus. Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler defended Moore by noting that the Virgin Mary was still a teenager when she married Joseph, who was an adult carpenter.
“Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter — they became parents of Jesus,” he told the Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
4.) Only one of Moore’s accusers was technically underage. Moore has been accused of pursuing sexual relations not only with a 14-year-old, but also a 16-year-old girl and an 18-year-old girl as well.
Breitbart editor Joel Pollack argued on Thursday that, because the age of consent in Alabama was 16 when Moore allegedly made these advances, we shouldn’t be disturbed by a 30-something man pursuing relationships with multiple teenagers.
“When you read the article, there are several cases mentioned and of those cases, only one would be legally problematic,” he said on MSNBC. “All of the others were legal relationships with women who were of age at the time when Roy Moore was single.”
5.) “There’s nothing wrong with a 30-year-old single male asking a 16-year-old on a date.” Those were the exact words spoken to reporter Daniel Dale by Alabama Marion County GOP chair David Hall in the wake of the scandal. Hall also told Dale that we should overlook the allegations against Moore because they occurred decades ago.
More Hall: “The other women that they’re using to corrobrate: number one, one was 19, one was 17, one was 16. There’s nothing wrong with a 30-year-old single male asking a 19-year-old, a 17-year-old, or a 16-year-old out on a date."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017
6.) Well, at least he’s not a Democrat. Covington County GOP Chairman William Blocker told Dale that he wouldn’t hesitate to vote for Moore even if the allegations proved true because at least he wasn’t a Democrat like his opponent, Doug Jones.
“There is NO option to support to support Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee,” Blocker told Dale. “When you do that, you are supporting the entire Democrat party.”
“Yeah!” Covington County GOP Chairman William Blocker tells me he’d consider voting Moore even if hard proof of sexual abuse emerged.
“There is NO option to support to support Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee. When you do that, you are supporting the entire Democrat party.”
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 9, 2017