The severity of the accusations against Roy Moore, the Republican Alabama candidate for the United States Senate, is leading Texas Republican U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to publicly withdraw their support, and fellow lawmakers are calling for him to resign.
“I believe the accusations against Roy Moore are disturbing and, if true, disqualifying,” Sen. Cornyn said in an interview with Politico on Monday. “The most appropriate course of action, in my view, is to leave the final judgment in the hands of Alabama voters — where it has always belonged — and withdraw my endorsement.”
Sen. Cruz issued straightforward criticism of Moore, saying, “One of two things should happen: If these allegations are true, Judge Moore should drop out now. Today…The people of Alabama deserve to have the option of voting for a strong conservative who has not committed criminal conduct. Or two, if these allegations are not true, then Judge Moore needs to come forward with a strong, persuasive rebuttal demonstrating that they are untrue.”
When asked if he was officially withdrawing his support of Moore, Cruz said, “I am not able to urge the people of Alabama to support his candidacy so long as these allegations remain un-refuted.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also condemned Moore, saying Monday the Alabama candidate should “step aside.”
All of the accusers were teenagers at the time Moore pursued alleged sexual relationships with them, and one of them was 14, according to a report by the Washington Post on the original four women accusing Moore.
Over the weekend the New York Times released the report of a fifth woman who came forward, saying Moore groped her when she was just 16 years old.
The accusations against Moore are the latest in a national backlash against men in positions of power who used their position as a platform for sexual assault and misconduct.
A ‘Burn Book of Bad Men‘ listing Texas lawmakers who regularly abused their power to make advances on young women was recently published, highlighting rampant misconduct in Texas politics stretching back years.
Moore’s position as a former chief justice, someone who is supposed to uphold ethics and the law, makes the allegations against him all the more disturbing. The accusations date back to the 1970s, and include taking the 14-year-old girl to his home multiple times, kissing her, touching her inappropriately and encouraging her to do the same to him.
Moore’s campaign is denying all accusations of sexual assault or misconduct.