McConnell Calls for Moore to Step Down, Moore Fires Back
Senate majority leader steps up his stance on Moore
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2017 12:25 PM CST
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell listens as Sen. John Cornyn speaks to reporters following the weekly Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington on Oct. 31, 2017.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is stepping up his official thoughts on Roy Moore. "I think he should step aside," he said of the GOP Senate candidate during a presser Monday, the Hill reports. Asked more specifically about allegations that Moore, running in a special Dec. 12 election in Alabama, had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old when he was 32 and that he attempted to romance three other teens around the same time, McConnell said, "I believe the women." The last time McConnell offered his thoughts on Moore, he qualified them by saying Moore should exit the race "if these allegations are found to be true." Many GOPers who initially qualified their remarks on Moore are also retreating since he told Sean Hannity last week he may have dated teen girls around that time. McConnell is the highest-ranking GOPer in DC to officially call on Moore to step down, per the Washington Post.

McConnell also said the GOP is exploring a possible write-in bid, though he didn't name names. The deadline to remove Moore's name from the ballot passed in October. Republicans have also discussed the possibility of getting the election date moved back, and CNN reports the National Republican Senatorial Committee has cut its fundraising ties with Moore. But many Alabama Republicans are still backing him, concerned that a write-in campaign would ensure a Democratic win, and Moore himself shows no signs of willingness to back down. "Apparently Mitch McConnell and the establishment GOP would rather elect a radical pro-abortion Democrat than a conservative Christian," read an email sent to his supporters Sunday night. He also tweeted Monday that "the person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell. He has failed conservatives and must be replaced." Recent polls show the margin between Moore and opponent Doug Jones is razor thin.

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