Scott Olson/Getty Images(JACKSON, Ala.) — At the “God Save America Revival Conference” at Walker Springs Road Baptist Church in Jackson, Alabama on Tuesday night, embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore addressed a loyal crowd and made little mention of his sexual assault scandal.
“Obviously I’ve made a few people mad. I’m the only one who can unite Democrats and Republicans because I seem to be opposed by both,” said Moore. “They’ve spent over $30 million to try to take me out, they’ve done everything they could, and now they’re together to try to keep me from going to Washington.”
Moore was met by applause when he walked into the church, with his wife Kayla at his side. He spoke following almost an hour of preaching and songs from a youth choir.
“Today you find out that people would rather hear criticisms of a person than look at what he’s done for 20 to 30 to 40 years,” said Moore.
Moore’s speech to the congregation focused on religious liberties, with Moore at the center of a battle over “God in America” — a battle he said he plans to bring to Washington “if it is God’s will.”
“I want to speak the truth, I want to take the truth about God to our Capitol,” said Moore.
“Now I’m running for — Senate of the United States — what do you think I’m going to do? Why do you think they’re giving me this trouble? Why do you think I’m being harassed by the media and by people pushing forth allegations in the last 28 days of this election, last 30 days it began?” asked Moore. “After 40 something years of fighting this battle I’m now facing allegations and that’s all the press want to talk about, but I want to talk about the issues, I want to talk about where this country is going and if we don’t come back to God, we’re not going anywhere.”
While Moore has vowed not to drop out of the Senate race, Republican leaders are debating how to proceed with a candidate they no longer support on the ballot.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell floated the idea of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who remains popular in Alabama — returning to his Senate seat.
“We’re in discussion now about how to salvage his seat, if possible, and it appears as if the only option would be a write in,” McConnell said at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council event on Tuesday evening. “The Alabamian who would fit that standard is the attorney general, who is totally well known and extremely popular in Alabama. And obviously it would be a big move for him and for the president, but I think the president is winding his way back the United States and I’m confident this is an issue they’re discussing in great detail.”
If Moore was elected, McConnell said the Senate could take action to remove him from office.
“It would be a rather unusual beginning,” said McConnell.
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement today that the Senate should vote to expel Moore if he wins the race in Alabama.
“I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office. If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” Gardner said in a statement.
Fox News host Sean Hannity, whose early defense of Moore led him to lose sponsors, changed course on his show Tuesday said Moore has “24 hours” to face the allegations.
“For me, the judge has 24 hours. You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies that I just showed,” said Hannity on his show. “You must remove any doubt. If you can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of this race. This country has way too many issues and problems. The American people deserve 100% truth and honesty.”
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