Roy Moore rival: ‘Men who hurt little girls should go to jail, not the Senate’

Shifting tactics in Alabama Senate race, Democrat Doug Jones hammers Roy Moore over allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenagers

Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee in the Alabama Senate election, on Tuesday launched his most sustained attack yet on his Republican challenger, Roy Moore.

In a speech in Birmingham a week before the vote, Jones hammered Moore, who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenaged girls.

” Men who hurt little girls should go to jail , not the US Senate ,” Jones said.

Several hours after Jones’s speech, Republican senator Jeff Flake made a $100 gift to the Democrat’s campaign. Flake, a conservative “Never Trump” Republican from Arizona, wrote” country over party” on the check.

The Alabama race has been roiled by accusations from women who say Moore behaved inappropriately with them when they were teens and he was a prosecutor in his 30 s.

Two females have claimed Moore sexually assaulted them. Others have said he dated or tried to date them. The Republican nominee has denied all the allegations and pointed to a conspiracy involving” lesbians, lesbians, bisexuals and socialists “.

Attacking Moore, Jones contrasted the firebrand conservative judge to the state’s former governor, Robert Bentley, who resigned amid a sexuality scandal in April.

” We didn’t look away with Robert Bentley when his conduct involved consenting adults and we cannot look away now that it involves children ,” Jones said.

Moore has twice been forced to step down as chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, for eluding federal court orders. Jones set up his Republican opponent as a figure of mockery.

” Roy Moore has never, ever served our nation with honor ,” he said.” He was already an shame before nine courageous females chose to share their tales .”

He also attacked Moore for his position at a not-for-profit organization called the Foundation for Moral Law , which paid the Republican about$ 1m over a five-year period.

” I have never lived off of gifts from a so-called charitable foundation ,” Jones said.

The Democrat even taunted Moore for pulling a small pistol on stage at a campaign rally in September.” When you find me with a handgun, I’ll be climbing in and out of a deer blind ,” he said,” not prancing around on a stage in a cowboy suit .”

The speech marked a shift in tactics from Jones. From being cautious in blaming Moore over the accusations of sexual misconduct, his campaign are growing increasingly vocal and aggressive.

The speech came one day after Donald Trump formally endorsed Moore and the Republican National Committee, which had receded subsistence, renewed the active involvement in the race.

At the White House on Tuesday, Trump talked to reporters about the race.” We don’t want to have a liberal Democrat in Alabama ,” he said.” We want to have the things we represent .”

Press secretary Sarah Sanders also defended the endorsement, saying Trump
” would rather have a person that supports his agenda versus someone who opposes his agenda every step of the style, and until the rest of that process plays out, you have a selection between two someones, and the president’s chosen to support Moore “.

She added:” The accusations are concerning and, if true, he should step aside, but we don’t have a way to validate that and that’s something for the people of Alabama to decide .”

CNN journalist Jim Acosta challenged Sanders , mention:” This is somebody who’s been accused of child abuse, of molesting children. How can that vote in the Senate be that important that you would take a gamble on somebody who’s been accused of molesting children, of harming somebody who is under age? Has he wrestled with that question?

The press secretary answered:” As I’ve said, we find the allegations very troubling and again this is up to the people of Alabama to construct that decision. I’m not a voter in Alabama; I can’t induce that decision .”

According to the polling average, Moore has a 1.5 -point lead.

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Opinions clash in Roy Moore’s home town: ‘There’s a lot of rumors in small-town Alabama’

David Smith visits Gadsden to hear locals opinions on the misconduct accusations, and finds advocates, waverers and critics who loathed Moore from the start

” I won’t bite ,” Tiffany Jones, an African American woman, joked to Richard Helms, a white man and Donald Trump advocate, as he hesitantly sat down beside her at a bus stop.” Even though we have different opinions, we can still sit and talk to each other .”

It was Thursday afternoon in Gadsden, the Alabama hometown of US Senate candidate Roy Moore. Jones, 38, a social work student, is vehemently opposed to the maverick Republican and observes the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him compelling. Helms, a 62 -year-old pipe fitter, takes the opposite view.

” I believe the women ,” Jones said.” Do I believe anything is going to be done about it? No, because he’s white and prejudiced and they want to keep it the same. That’s how it is in Alabama .”

Helms, however, intends to vote for Moore.” They’re trying to drum up some garbage to discredit him ,” he contended over a cigarette.” There might have been some sort of incident- altogether innocent, human, man and woman- and people get out there and exaggerated and blew it out of all proportion .”

The disagreement is typical of Gadsden, an understated, churchgoing city of 36,000 people on the Coosa river where the grapevine has been buzzing of late. Interviews by the Guardian with 20 residents on Thursday uncovered a wide spectrum of views, from diehards who stand by Moore to Republicans who are wavering because of the scandal to critics who loathed his firebrand populism from the start.

Behind Jones and Helms’s seat was the modest law office of Leroy Cobb, who was wearing a long and thick white beard, a tie-in patterned with the Confederate battle flag and a baseball cap with a picture of Confederate general “Stonewall” Jackson and the words” southern heritage “. Breaking off from a client session, Cobb, 69, insisted that he could not contemplate voting for Doug Jones- bid to become the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alabama in a quarter-century- over Moore on 12 December.

Tiffany Jones and Richard Helms at a bus stop in Gadsden. Photo: David Smith for the Guardian

” On the one side you’ve got a human who believes in using taxpayer money to murder “childrens and” dedicate sodomites equal rights ,” he said.” On the other you’ve got a man who doesn’t believe in those things. I’m a Christian and my Bible doesn’t teach those .”

Dismissing the allegations against Moore, he added:” Forty years ago? They never told anybody or nobody believed them? What does that tell you about what kind of women they are? If it was my daughter, I would have killed whoever did it. I don’t believe them .”

The candidate is being held up to unfair scrutiny, Cobb insisted, quoting rightwing conspiracy theories.” No reporter ever went and looked at the background of Barack Obama .”

Cobb was not alone in rallying to the defence of 70 -year-old Moore, whose campaign on Thursday hit back at his accusers, declaring” let the battle begin “. Waiting outside the Gadsden Career Center, Christopher Brand, 38, said:” I believe it’s just stuff in the paper and I think it will go away. I don’t know if they’re lying but some people try to seek publicity these days, get their name in the paper. Some do it for money .”

Brand, who voted for Trump in the presidential election, admitted that he heard the rumours about Moore before they became public. But he said:” There’s a lot of gossips in little town in Alabama. I only believe what I know to be fact .”

Others were more willing to theorize. A 67 -year-old man, who gave his name merely as Al for dread of reprisals from his employer, said he believed there would be more accusations to come against Moore.

” I’d be very surprised if there weren’t ,” Al said.” He has a history that goes back a long ways. I know the girl Leigh Corfman[ who told the Washington Post that Moore sexually abused her when she was 14] and about 12 years ago she told me the tale. She is absolutely not lying. I know he molested her when she was very young .”

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Gay prohibits and kudo for Putin: the world according to Roy Moore

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Homosexuality should be illegal

In 2005, Moore said:” Homosexual conduct should be illegal .” In an interview televised on C-Span, Moore added:” It is immoral. It is defined by the law as detestable .” During a debate in September 2017, he went out of his route to bemoan the fact that” sodomy[ and] sexual perversion sweep the land “.

September 11 attacks as divine punishment

In a speech in February, Moore appeared to suggest that the terrorist attacks of September 11 were the result of divine retribution against the United States and prophesized in the Book of Isaiah. In commentaries first reported by CNN, Moore quoted Isaiah 30:12 -1 3, saying:” Because you have despised His word and trust in perverseness and oppression, and say thereon … hence this iniquity will be to you as a breach ready to fall, swell out in a high wall, whose transgressing cometh suddenly at an instance .” Moore then noted:” Sounds a little bit like the Pentagon, whose transgres came abruptly at an instance, doesn’t it ?” He added:” If you think that’s coincidence, if you go to verse 25:’ There should be up on every high mountain and upon every mound, rivers and streams of water in the working day of the great carnage when the towers will fall.'”

Praise for Putin

In an interview with the Guardian in August, Moore praised Putin for his views on lesbian rights.” Perhaps Putin is right. Maybe he’s more akin to me than I know .” The commentaries came as Moore suggested the United States could be described as” the focus of evil in the world” because” we promote a lot of bad things “. Moore specifically named lesbian wedding as one of those “bad things”.

‘Reds and yellows ‘

At a rally earlier in September, Moore “was talkin about a”” reds and yellows opposing” while discussing racial division in the United States. Moore justified this on Twitter by quoting lyrics from the anthem Jesus Loves the Little Children. He wrote” Red, yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. This is the Gospel .”

Tracking livestock is communism

In 2006, Moore denounced a proposal for a national ID system for animals as” more identifiable with communism than free enterprise “. The proposal received attention after a cow in Alabama had been diagnosed with mad cow illnes. Moore, who was then operating for governor, was skeptical that the outbreak was real. Instead, Moore suggested it was a ruse intended to promote the tracking system.

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Al also backed reports that Moore sought daughters at the Gadsden shopping mall.” He always wore the same tan camel-hair coat. There was a store called Pizitz and he would always hang around the lingerie section; they were the first ones to hurl him out. Then he would hang around outside the Record Bar and hit on young girls there. He was always alone; never with another adult. The mall hurled him out.

” Then he decided he would thump the Bible and these people believed him and he became some sort of cult figure. But he’s a shady character, a really strange guy. There’s no way I would vote for him; I never have. I don’t see him winning, actually. If you look at middle-class, better educated areas, he never gets those elections .”

Chad Gowens, a medical assistant who served in the navy, said:” Growing up in this town, most people know Roy Moore and the type of person he was. At school you heard the narratives. It was a hush-hush because he was assistant DA[ district attorney ].”

Gadsden, Alabama

Gowens, 33, always suspected that a scandal would burst into the open sooner or later.” I figured it would be that they discovered him on Grindr or something. Anyone who’s preaching that hard is normally got skeletons in their cupboard .”

Henry Joseph, 80, a retired building contractor, was sitting at the bar at the Blackstone Pub and Eatery on Broad Street, said he was a Republican but was willing to vote Democrat next month.” I’ve turned ,” he said.” Doug Jones did very well in Birmingham when he was a prosecutor .”

As for Moore, Joseph was adamant.” I think the man’s in love with himself. His ego’s all the more important than Trump’s and he probably misses himself when he goes to sleep at night .” But he added:” I suppose part of the allegations are presumptively right and a lot are fabricated. I can’t go back 30 years and tell you where I was on a devoted day .”

Lonnie Dorcey, 42, a business proprietor in the hospice industry, also dismissed the accusations.” He’s known to all the members of the country and nothing like this has come out until four weeks before the election. There were lots of opportunities over the last 30 years. It’s a small enough town, a small enough community. Everyone knows everything about everyone. You just can’t maintain a secret like for 30 years: there have been bitter election opposes and it would have come out .”

Steve Beene, 68, relaxing on a bench, said:” I believe Roy Moore could shoot somebody here and still get the votes. People are not as informed as they used to be .”

Gadsden is the county seat of Etowah County, which in the past has voted for Democrats John F Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton( twice ), but had now been been staunchly Republican, strongly backing Trump in last year’s presidential election.

It fits the profile of some of Trump’s strongholds. Gadsden’s main employers were textile mills, a steel mill that shut down in about 2000 and a tyre-manufacturing plant that virtually ran the same style. The main boulevard, Broad Street, is lined with bars and restaurants, insurance and investment companies and shops selling antiques, comics and dolls, as well as an art museum and dance conservatory, but little traffic and few household name chains. Within walking distance are several advance cash and payday loan outlets.

Greg Bailey, co-managing editor of the Gadsden Hour, a 150 -year-old daily newspaper with a circulation of 10, 000, said:” It’s gone from a smokestack city to a city looking for an identity. There are people saying,’ When are those smokestack days coming back ?’ They’re not coming back. We’re still in flux .”

Beverly Young Nelson at a press conference in Manhattan where she has accused Roy Moore of sexually abusing her when she was 16. Photograph: Spencer Platt/ Getty Images

The paper has been inundated with calls from around the country since the Moore scandal erupted. Bailey believes he still has a chance of winning the Senate race.” It would not surprise me ,” he said.” His core base, the conservative evangelical Christians, is very loyal. This is a group that feels put upon by the socioeconomic changes they see around them and they’re desperate for a champ and they’re not easily going to give their champion up .”

The journalist added:” I have some people in my social media who are absolutely doubling down and some who are vacillating. If he sticks it out, I can’t tell what’s going to happen on December 12.”

But the waverers are much in evidence, even among unrepentant Trump voters. After all, the president himself- who won Alabama by 28 percentage points- has hardly been enthusiastic about Moore’s candidacy, first endorsing his challenger Luther Strange in the Republican primary, then suggesting that Moore should step aside if the allegations prove true, though he stopped short of demanding his immediate withdrawal.

Preparing to order lunch at Cafe 5, Rick Green, 69, said he backed Trump strongly but was undecided on how to vote in the Senate race.” I need more information about some things ,” he said.” These allegations seem to be getting stronger and stronger every day but I want to see proof. You’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. I think the election’s going to be awful close .”

A military special operations veteran of 30 years who served in Vietnam and Iraq, Green criticised congressional Republicans for trenching Moore.” You can’t seem these days to get the Republicans to stand together on anything. I’m just entirely disgusted. They can’t get their act together. They’re constantly squabbling when I want a wall construct, I want taxation reform .”

A poll released on Wednesday by the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm demonstrated Jones constructing a once unthinkable 12 -point lead since the accusations became public. Another Trump voter, 29 -year-old Jessica Jones, owned of the Sew Much Grace boutique store, said:” I lean more towards Republican in my voting. We share the same values and notions, but I cannot in good conscience vote for Roy Moore .”

Not everyone is gripped by the tournament, however. Back at the bus stop, Betty Way, 60, who works in an adjacent office for a trucks and trailer company, said:” I don’t even know what the allegations are. I don’t watch TV. I live in the country and there’s better things to do than look at politics.

” If you ask me how the deer’s running or how’s the rabbit’s hopping, I could tell you, but when you get into politics, I don’t have a position .”

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Kim Jong-un, the NFL and ‘screaming at senators’: Donald Trump’s Strange night in Alabama

President heads to Alabama to rally support for incumbent senator Luther Strange who is facing a runoff election on Tuesday

Donald Trump devoted one of his signature stream of consciousness speeches in Hunstville on Friday night as he tried to get out the vote for embattled Alabama Republican senator Luther Strange.

During an address inside the Wernher Von Braun Center that lasted an hour and 20 minutes, the president called North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un “Little Rocket Man”, said NFL owners should cut players who kneel for the national anthem and returned to familiar targets like John McCain and Hillary Clinton.

Strange is facing a runoff election on Tuesday for the GOP nomination to hold the seat he was appointed to in February. The former state attorney general was handed the seat after former senator Jeff Sessions was appointed us attorney general by Trump. Strange is currently trailing in the polls against Roy Moore, an ardent social conservative who has twice been removed as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

The race has become a top priority for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and a superPAC affiliated with him will expend over$ 9m on Strange’s behalf. The Alabama senator is seen as dependable vote for Republican priorities while Moore has mused about constructing” lesbian conduct” illegal and suggested that the terrorist attacks of 11 September may have been divine retribution for the United States turning away from God.

The campaign has largely focused on McConnell. Moore has attacked the Senate majority leader as a being of the “swamp” that Trump wishes to drain while Strange has tried to distance himself from the Kentucky Republican. Strange went as far as to assert in his brief introductory remarks on Friday night that Trump was backing him so that he could have the votes in the Senate to” stand up to Mitch McConnell .” The President later asserted that Strange “didn’t know” the Senate majority leader.

Trump repeatedly praised Strange and often calling the 6′ 9ft senator” Big Luther .” However, he did note that Moore, who has been backed by a number of prominent conservatives including former Trump aide Steve Bannon, was ” a good man” and that he would campaign for him if the former chief justice won on Tuesday.

Instead of direct criticism, Trump simply claimed Moore would a face a difficult general election in deep red Alabama. He said Moore” has a very good chance of not winning the legislative elections .” Trump also dwelled on the political danger he was taking backing Strange, insisting that the media would attack him if the Alabama Republican lost.

Senator Strange prepares to introduce the President Trump during the rally in Huntsville. Photo: Marvin Gentry/ Reuters

In between his kudo of Strange, Trump touched on a smorgasbord of topics. He renewed his criticism of Kim Jong Un, whom he called both “Rocket Man” and “Little Rocket Man” and warning of the risk posed by North Korea’s nuclear program and its recent threats to exam a hydrogen bomb.” Now he’s talking about a massive weapon exploding over the Pacific Ocean, which causes tragedy. Where the plume goes, so runs cancer, so runs tremendous problems .” However, Trump confidently said ” I’m going to handle it .”

Hours after John McCain torpedoed Republican hopes to repeal and replace Obamacare, Trump carried his disappointment. He said McCain’s opposition was ” totally unexpected and terrible .” He also chastised the Arizona Republican for what he saw as hypocrisy.” Repeal and replace, John McCain if you look at his last campaign it’s all about repeal and replace and that’s fine, we still have a good chance[ of repealing and replacing Obamacare .” He described his attempts to court senators on health care, saying ” I’m on the phone screaming at people all day long for weeks .”

Trump also returned to some of his favourite topics. He talked at length about the wall he hopes to build on the Mexican border, insisting it needed to be see-through. Trump said this was because drug dealers are currently use catapults to send 100 pound bags of drugs over the existing concrete wall and they are landing on people’s heads in the United States. He also answered the familiar cheers of” lock her up” directed at Hillary Clinton by telling the crowd” you gotta speak to Jeff Sessions about that .”

The president also dwelledon NFL players who take a knee during the course of its National Anthem in peaceful protest. He asked the crowd” Wouldn’t you love one of the NFL owneds when someone disrespects our flag,’ get that son of a bitch off the field right now .'” He told attendees” if you see it, leave the stadium, I guarantee things will stop .”

Since 2016, a number of African American NFL players have taken a knee during the course of its National Anthem. It was spurred by former San Francisco 49 ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who was the first to do so in protest what he saw as persecution of people of color. Several other players have since followed suit and it has triggered national controversy.

Trump’s visit to Alabama comes merely four days before the primary runoff and only hours after Ben Carson, a member of Trump’s cabinet, issued a quasi-endorsement of Moore. In a statement released by Moore’s campaign, Trump’s secretary of housing and urban planning said ” Judge Moore is a fine human of proven character and integrity, who I have come to respect over the years .” Carson did not explicitly endorse Moore though.

Vice president Mike Pence, who will hold a rally for Strange in Birmingham, will follow Trump in Alabama on Monday. Moore is scheduled to hold an electoral eve rally with Duck Dynasty starring Phil Robertson.

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Alabama immigration: crops rot as workers vanish to avoid crackdown

The day before harsh new laws came into effect, Brian Cash had 65 Hispanic men picking tomatoes. Now he has none

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