WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters on Capitol Hill this morning that if Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore “cares about the values and the people he claims to care about, then he should step aside.”
Ryan comments come less than a day after a new accuser came forward with sexual assault allegations and her high school yearbook signed “Love, Roy Moore D.A.” On Monday evening, The New Yorker published an account from Moore’s hometown of Gadsden, Ala., that said the former assistant district attorney had possibly been banned from the local mall in his 30s because he was hitting on too many teen girls.
Moore has not tweeted about the latest allegations. His campaign released a letter signed by 50 pastors before the abuse allegations arguing that the former judge is “a man who loves God’s word and knows much of it by heart, a man who cares for the people, a man who understands our Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers, and a man who deeply loves America.” The repurposed letter originally had 53 signatories, but three pastors reportedly asked that their names be removed from the latest release.
Asked about Moore outside a closed caucus meeting, Ryan replied, “He should step aside… these allegations are incredible.”
The latest accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, said at an emotional press conference alongside attorney Gloria Allred on Monday that Moore offered to give her a ride home from the restaurant where she worked when she was 16 years old. “Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts,” Nelson said. “I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and locked it so I could not get out. I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch… At some point he gave up. He then looked at me and said, ‘You are a child. I am the District Attorney of Etowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.'”
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said Monday that if Moore “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.”
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) told CNN that he thought Moore already “disqualified himself by his blatant disregard for the Constitution.”
“He was removed from the supreme court twice. He had made many incendiary comments about religious minorities, the LGBT community and others. I just think the man is unfit. And that was before these recent allegations of very serious misconduct,” Dent said. “…You know, we just cannot be branded by individuals like this. It’s times like this that the leaders of the party have to step up and do what’s right.”