Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is keeping a low profile and making only private appearances in the days leading up to Tuesday's election in an effort to duck questions about accusations that he molested underage girls when he was in his 30s, said The Montgomery Advertiser on Saturday.
"In the last few days before the Dec. 12 election for Alabama’s junior U.S. Senate seat, the Republican candidate has all but vanished from the public, continuing a pattern of absence that took hold after allegations of abuse, assault, harassment and misconduct with nine women surfaced against Moore in early November," said the Advertiser's Brian Lyman.
Moore has been relying on surrogates and campaign personnel to handle the media and only appearing at private events before friendly audiences. In the last month, Lyman said, Moore has made only 10 pubic appearances.
“I think it’s extremely odd that for the better part of that campaign, we have seen his spokespeople, his campaign manager and his surrogates,” said Republican consultant Angi Horn Stalnaker.
Moore's campaign said that the candidate had no events scheduled for Saturday and nothing booked for the days ahead except for a Monday night rally with Breitbart.com CEO Steve Bannon and House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
Moore's reluctance to appear in public and face potentially hostile questioning stands in sharp contrast to Democratic opponent Doug Jones, who has made 217 public appearances in the last two months, according to the Advertiser.
At an appearance in Selma on Saturday, Jones joked, "I don't know what day it is now that Roy Moore's gone into hiding."
Stalnaker said that Moore's handlers know that the former chief justice is a loose cannon and that the less opportunity he has to speak off the cuff, the more likely he is to avoid gaffes like saying the last time the U.S. was great was during the slavery era.
“To me, it appears as though the staff and donors and whoever’s behind campaign are either more interested in getting publicity for themselves, or they don’t trust what he’s going to say in public,” she said.