For the better part of 20 years, one thing has been as certain as death and taxes in Alabama–a month out from Election Day, the Republican candidate for Senate has more or less assured himself of victory. But that isn’t the case in the special election to succeed now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Mounting evidence suggests that the Republican candidate, former state chief justice Roy Moore, molested women and girls and pursued girls young enough to be his daughter in the 1980s and 1990s. As a result, what should have been an easy romp to victory over the Democratic challenger, Doug Jones, has turned into a pure toss-up–and polls suggest that Jones has seized the momentum.
Late Wednesday, Moore’s campaign took another body blow when it announced that his communications director, John Rogers, abruptly resigned because he didn’t have nearly enough experience to handle the growing scrutiny Moore has faced. Needless to say, when a statewide campaign’s communications chief resigns less than three weeks before Election Day, it’s not a good sign.
But believe it or not, another incident happened on Wednesday that may be even stronger evidence that Moore’s campaign is in deep trouble. The Moore campaign actually tried to offer a response to the accusations that wasn’t some variation of “(noun)(verb) FAKE NEWS!” But in the process, it only succeeded in making itself look thin-skinned and foolish.
You may recall that Moore tried to accuse one of his accusers, Beverly Young Nelson, of lying about not having any contact with him in the years since she says he fondled her in the late 1970s. According to Moore’s legal team, Nelson had no qualms about letting him handle her divorce in 1999, and may have lifted his signature from those papers and copied it into her high school yearbook. But a review of court records showed that a different judge handled the initial matters related to Nelson’s divorce, and that the case was dismissed before she would have had to appear before Moore–and before there would have been any contact.
Moore has since continued to attack Nelson’s credibility. On Monday, for instance, he rolled out what he said were more inconsistencies in Nelson’s story.
"The Moore Campaign unveiled statements from key witnesses that completely bust the story of Beverly Nelson and Gloria Allred and further reveal an unconscionable bias on the part of state and national press to hide the truth from Alabama voters." #ALSen pic.twitter.com/AxIpaAMc2E
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) November 21, 2017
But until he gives a real explanation for the discrepancy between his claim that he and Nelson had contact during her divorce and the documents that show there was no contact, any further statements attacking Nelson are meaningless.
Undaunted, Moore’s team turned its guns on his initial accuser, Leigh Corfman. At a press conference on Tuesday, Moore aide Ben DuPre claimed that Corfman was lying about where she lived at the time she said Moore picked her up in 1979. Apparently this was an attempt to counter Corfman’s interview on NBC’s “Today” on Monday. In case you missed that interview, watch it here.
In the bombshell story by The Washington Post that triggered the scandal, Corfman said that she lived around the corner from where Moore picked her up. However, DuPre claims that the campaign has come across court documents that showed Corfman lived more than a mile “and across a major thoroughfare” from that intersection at the time.
Predictably, right-wing diehards ate it up, with many of them tweeting a story from Breitbart News touting these documents.
— George Thompson (@gatman7) November 22, 2017
DuPre rapped The Post and the rest of the national media for not investigating this supposed discrepancy further. In response, reporters for The Post called the Moore campaign to see the documents for themselves. A campaign spokeswoman said she would try to respond. But when the reporters made another request, they got this response from campaign strategist Brett Doster.
“The Washington Post is a worthless piece of crap that has gone out of its way to railroad Roy Moore. There is no need for anyone at the Washington Post to ever reach out to the Roy Moore campaign again because we will not respond to anyone from the Post now or in the future. Happy Thanksgiving.”
Wait a minute. First, the Moore campaign accuses The Post of not checking out documents that cast doubt on Corfman’s claims. But when The Post wants to see those documents, the Moore campaign refuses to provide them because it considers The Post “a worthless piece of crap.”
Let’s say it all together as a group–wanting to see documents isn’t an act of hackery. It’s Journalism 101. But then again, we’re talking about a campaign that considers even mildly critical coverage to be “FAKE NEWS!”
Not surprisingly, Doster has been carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey on Twitter.
@BrettDoster I understand. There's no way I could stomach promoting a child molester either. Good move.
— Bridget McCurry (@Bridget0120) November 23, 2017
— Chris Frink (@chrisfrink) November 23, 2017
@BrettDoster is a worthless piece of crap that has gone out of his way to promote Roy Moore.
— Trump is dismantling the ship of state in flight. (@RobertWalter) November 23, 2017
@BrettDoster if Roy Moore hadn’t gotten himself into trouble, there wouldn’t be an opportunity for journalists to report his story.
— mysticmuse (@44vreiki) November 22, 2017
How does it feel representing a child molestor?
— jameycribbs (@jameycribbs) November 22, 2017
Can you substantiate your claims that one of the accusers of Roy Moore didn't live in the house she claimed she lived? If not…why are you supporting a sexual predator?
— Dotard Jerk Trump (@DotardJerkTrump) November 22, 2017
You would think that if the Moore campaign really had proof that Corfman was lying about her address, it would be more than happy to let the public see that proof rather than merely take Moore at his word. If the Moore campaign isn’t willing to release those documents, do they even exist? Given that Moore has already been busted for lying about court documents, that’s a fair question.
Moore has threatened libel suits against The Post and a number of other media outlets for reporting on this scandal. But if he thinks that reporters who are actually doing their jobs are working for “a worthless piece of crap,” that’s not going to allow him to look good in court–if it even gets that far.
All Moore has accomplished with this stunt is add to the growing evidence that he is not fit to serve in the Senate. Alabamians deserve better. And with Doug Jones, they’ll get better. Click here to donate and help give Alabama a Senator it can be proud of.
(featured image courtesy Moore’s Facebook)