GOP Senate campaign arm abandons Roy Moore following sexual allegations

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As of 2 p.m. EST Friday afternoon, the RNC and the Alabama Republican Party both remained in the joint committee.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Friday that Moore should drop out of the race and called him "unfit for office".

Zeigler, asked to respond to Lipinsky's comments today, stressed that he believes the story about Moore is not true and called the story a "hit piece".

But Moore remains defiant and insists he will not quit the race for the 12 December special election for Attorney General Jeff Sessions' former seat.

Alabama's Republican national committeeman says allegations of sexual impropriety against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore are a "sinister" attempt to derail his candidacy.

Utah's senators, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, joined a chorus of Republican senators on Thursday in calling for Moore to step aside if the allegations are true.

A senior official in the USA state of Alabama has used the Bible to condone Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore's reported sexual misconduct with minors and dismissed the furore over the allegations as "much ado about nothing".

Can Roy Moore win in Alabama, despite the well-researched and corroborated allegations of sexual misconduct that have engulfed his campaign? He referenced the Alabama controversy only briefly during an appearance Thursday night in New Hampshire. But I will have something to say about that.

State Rep. Ed Henry told The Times of Cullman, Alabama, that if Moore's accusers believe Moore was a predator, "they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years". Other women between the ages of 17 and 18 said they had contact with Moore that involved multiple dates but never went beyond kissing. The Post has also reported that Moore did not disclose the $180,000-per-year salary he took for part-time work he did for his charity, the Foundation for Moral Law.

Overall, however, Washington Republicans have very little leverage over Moore.

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In a letter Friday seeking funding for his legal defense, Moore blamed the "Obama-Clinton Machine" for launching "the most vicious and nasty round of attacks me I've EVER seen". "That's why I must be able to count on the help of God-fearing conservatives like you to stand with me at this critical moment". Much of the Republican establishment - including McConnell and President Donald Trump - supported odd, while the GOP's more conservative flank - including former Trump strategist Steve Bannon - backed Moore.

"National liberal organizations know their chosen candidate Doug Jones is in a death spiral, and this is their last ditch Hail Mary", said Bill Armistead, Moore's campaign manager.

Zeigler also questioned the truthfulness of the allegation and noted Moore's strong denial. But does this total unwillingness to countenance wrongdoing hold for the wider public, even in as deeply red a state as Alabama?

Bennett says the party and candidate can revoke the Republican's nomination, but his name would appear regardless, because a key deadline has already passed.

Tommy Battle, the mayor of Huntsville, Ala., who's seeking the GOP nomination for next year's governor's race, said, "If the allegations are true, then he does not need to be the Republican candidate for Senate". "They're just using it as a weapon, a political weapon".

The response was swift from Senate Republicans shortly after The Washington Post story about Moore initiating a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl several decades ago. Gardner chairs the Republican senatorial campaign committee. The numbers suggest odd wouldn't split the GOP vote as much as you might expect; some unusual voters appear to be taken away from Jones.

The Senate Republican fundraising operation on Friday pulled out of a joint committee it had set up with Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore's campaign, following allegations the former judge initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl almost four decades ago.

Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief judge twice removed from office, has denied the charges. That non-authoritative text placed Mary's age at 12 when she conceived and it cited supposed evidence of her enduring virginity to demonstrate she conceived Jesus without sexual intercourse. At another point in the interview he said he didn't "generally" remember pursuing girls that young.

None of the other women said that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.