Both President Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., think Roy Moore running for Senate again in Alabama is a bad idea — but it’s not the myriad sexual predation allegations that bother them. They just don’t think he can win.
Moore, a twice-removed Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, lost his bid for the Senate in 2017, following multiple allegations of sexual assault or misconduct from women who claim he pursued them while they were teens and he was in his 30s. (Moore has repeatedly denied all the accusations against him.) Not one to be deterred, Moore is contemplating running again, against current Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D), who beat him in the 2017 special election.
The current Republican contender for the seat, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), said this week that he welcomes Moore to the race, noting he’s not concerned about Moore beating him. Moore pushed back on Twitter, stating, “What is Bradley so worried about? He knows that if I run I will beat Doug Jones.”
Trump, Jr., who supported Moore during his previous run, made clear Tuesday night he was not convinced.
“You mean like last time? You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA,” the younger Trump tweeted. “Running for office should never become a business model. If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it’s time to ride off into the sunset, Judge.”
You mean like last time? You’re literally the only candidate who could lose a GOP seat in pro-Trump, pro-USA ALABAMA. Running for office should never become a business model. If you actually care about #MAGA more than your own ego, it's time to ride off into the sunset, Judge. https://t.co/Twg9isFRkY
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 28, 2019
Considering how much the Trump organization has profited from Trump winning the presidency, Trump Jr.’s warning not to try to profit off of running for office appears hypocritical.
As is often the case, Trump Jr.’s concern prompted his father to chime in as well.
The elder Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that, like his son, he didn’t think Moore should run for Senate again. But the president made clear that he had “NOTHING against Roy Moore” and that he had actually wanted him to win in 2017.
“Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama. This time it will be for Six Years, not just Two. I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win. But he didn’t, and probably won’t [in 2020],” he tweeted.
Trump also suggested that if a Democrat wins Alabama again, it could endanger “Pro-Life victories,” seemingly referencing Alabama’s new outright ban on abortion.
…If Alabama does not elect a Republican to the Senate in 2020, many of the incredible gains that we have made during my Presidency may be lost, including our Pro-Life victories. Roy Moore cannot win, and the consequences will be devastating….Judges and Supreme Court Justices!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2019
Moore fired back Wednesday morning.
“Ever wonder why the mere mention of my name scares the “hell” out of the Washington DC establishment, liberals, and LGBT?” he tweeted. “Like Pres Trump I want to see America great again, but that is a job only God can do!”
(Even though LGBTQ issues were not relevant to his exchange with Trump or Trump, Jr., part of Moore’s brand seems to be reminding voters, whenever possible, how flagrantly opposed he is to LGBTQ equality.)
Ever wonder why the mere mention of my name scares the “hell” out of the Washington DC establishment, liberals, and LGBT?
Like Pres Trump I want to see America great again, but that is a job only God can do!
— Judge Roy Moore (@RealJudgeMoore) May 29, 2019
Moore was twice removed from his elected position as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court — first in 2003 for refusing to take down a Ten Commandments monument, and again in 2017 for refusing to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision.
He faced nine different allegations of sexual assault or predation, including from one woman who alleged he abused her when she was only 14.
As ThinkProgress reported previously, Moore also co-authored a textbook that said women shouldn’t run for office and has said he supports repealing the constitutional amendments that abolished slavery and gave women the right to vote.
After Moore lost his Senate bid in 2017, he refused to concede, insisting that the surge in black voters must have been fraudulent.