- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 3, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | President Trump isn’t scheduled to campaign with Roy Moore in the final days of the special Senate election in Alabama, but the commander-in-chief’s influence on the race is inescapable over the radio and television airwaves.

The Moore camp has been running an ad, which aired Sunday during breaks in television talk shows, that is capped with footage of Mr. Trump warning that Democrat Doug Jones is a “liberal person” who is “terrible on crime, bad on borders, bad with the military, bad for the Second Amendment.”

And the Republican is likely to get a boost Friday when the president is expected to make an appearance in nearby Pensacola, Florida — an important TV market that serves southern Alabama.

Mr. Trump, however, may not be enough to counter the barrage of ads being run by Mr. Jones and allied groups.

Those ads define Mr. Moore in a negative light by, among other things, highlighting allegations of sexual misconduct that have been leveled against him, and warning that the Republican sees preschool as “Nazi indoctrination.”

The ads also spotlight Mr. Jones‘ role in prosecuting KKK members involved in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Street Church in Birmingham that killed four black girls, and give Mr. Jones the chance to make the case to voters that he is a centrist who can build bridges in Washington.

“With Roy Moore it just doesn’t stop,” the narrator says in one of the newer Jones ads. “Now it turns out Roy Moore co-authored a legal course instructing students that women should not be allowed to run for office. Moore’s course taught that the Bible forbid women to run from holding elected office and Christians shouldn’t vote for women.”

In another ad, Mr. Jones boasts he is the son of a steelworker who supports the Second Amendment and accuses the Moore camp of hitting him with false attacks.

“I am a person of faith, and I try to live my faith every day. I am for lower taxes on the middle class. I am against deficits, for a strong military and for your right to see a doctor whenever you are sick,” Mr. Jones says in a radio ad. “No one in Washington, not Chuck Schumer or Mitch McConnell, is going to tell me what to do,” he says, referring to the Senate Democrat and Republican leaders.

If you missed one of the ads on one channel, you’re bound to bump into it on another.

Welcome to the ad wars playing out across Alabama, where polls show Mr. Moore and Mr. Jones locked in a competitive race.

The spots are running morning, noon and night, and are competing for listeners’ and viewers’ attention against some colorful local ads, including a sales pitch from an Auburn-based attorney — dubbed the “Alabama Hammer” — who shoots a deer head superimposed over a $100 bill, while assuring the audience that when he goes after insurance companies “I ain’t settling for no small doe, I am hunting for the big bucks!”

Mr. Jones is dramatically outspending Mr. Moore.

The Democrat has spent $5.6 million on radio and television ads, compared to about $600,000 for Mr. Moore.

A recent breakdown from Advertising Analytics showed Mr. Moore had run 1,000 ads in the general election, and Mr. Jones had run 10,000.

Mr. Jones has had a clear advantage in recent days and also has gotten a boost from the Highway 31 super PAC, which has poured more than $1.3 million into the race, including on ads highlighting The Washington Post’s bombshell report that unearthed allegations from women who said Mr. Moore courted them when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s, working as an assistant district attorney. Beyond just improper sexual attention, several of the women accuse Mr. Moore of groping and sexual assault.

Mr. Moore is countering that line of attack in another ad in which the narrator says the Republican has “been intensely scrutinized” and not had a “hint of scandal” over his 40 years of “honorable service.”

“But four weeks before the election, false allegations — a scheme by liberal elites and a Republican establishment to protect their big government trough,” the narrator says over photos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mr. Schumer and Mr. McConnell (with a crown on his head). “We we know a vote for Roy Moore means conservative judges, tax cuts and rebuilding the military. Roy Moore the right choice.”

In another radio ad, James Dobson, an evangelical Christian icon who founded Focus on the Family, tells voters that God gave America another chance with the election of Mr. Trump and that the president needs Mr. Moore to follow through on his vow to “Make America Great Again.”

“Judge Moore is a man of proven character, and integrity,” Mr. Dobson says in the ad. “Judge Moore has stood for our religious liberty and for the sanctity of marriage when it seemed the entire world was against him.”

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