- The Washington Times - Monday, November 13, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Roy Moore, the Republican’s nominee in the Alabama fight for the U.S. Senate seat, announced he’s going to sue The Washington Post for the series of stories that implicate him in sexual dalliances with underage girls 40 years ago.

He said this as political players in his own party were folding like cheap card tables to get him to quit.

“I think it would be best if Roy would just step aside,” said Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“It’s just really a matter as to whether he ought to be the candidate, the standard-bearer of the Republican Party,” said Ohio Gov. John Kasich, on “This Week” on ABC. “And I just think he shouldn’t be.”

And this, from failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a few days ago: “Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. … Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.”

Just happens these same Republicans, as well as others entrenched in the party, have some advice for Alabamans on the conservative side of things who are still looking to beat Democrat Doug Jones — vote for Sen. Luther Strange, the guy who lost the primary to Moore.

How convenient.

Still, Moore’s denied the allegations — denied ever engaging in a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl while he was in his 30s, and denied pursuing other teenage girls in the same fashion, around the same time frame. And in this country, contrary to what Romney said, citizens do indeed maintain a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

As Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, put it on “This Week” just this past weekend: “[Moore’s alleged] conduct as described should disqualify anyone from serving in public office. [But] it would be a very dangerous precedent for any of us, for any person in this country to just be cast aside as guilty because of press reports.”

True enough.

And in that vein, Moore said he’s going to fight.

“Shortly after becoming the Republican nominee for the United States Senate, the Washington Post published an article attacking me, my wife, my Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Alabama, on my salary. They said I took over a million dollars,” he said during an address to supporters at the Huntsville Christian Academy, as reported by Breitbart. “There were not a million dollars. I wish I had a million dollars.”

Moore then recounted how The Post “finally realized” he never did get that much money and reversed course on its reporting, saying instead he and his wife “didn’t pay taxes for what you didn’t get.”

He went on, Breitbart noted: “Anyway, to make a long story short, they kind of failed. So about 30 days before the general election, just the other day, the Washington Post published another attack on my character and reputation because they are desperate to stop my political campaign. These attacks said I was with a minor child and are false and untrue — and for which they will be sued.”

By the time the election comes around, Dec. 12, it may be too late. Polls show the reports about Moore are having a negative effect on his campaign. As the New York Daily News reported, one JMC Analytics and Polling company survey found that Jones had just pulled ahead of Moore, 46 percent to 42 percent. The margin of error is 4.1 — but the dwindling is substantial, just the same. Prior to the surfacing of the accusations, Moore had an 8-point lead over Jones.

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