Election 2020

Scott on Moore: 'I Want to be on the Side of Right When the History Writes This Story'

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) talks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) declared that “you won’t find me in Alabama” campaigning for Roy Moore and stressed Sunday that the former judge should drop out of the Senate race.

At least nine women have publicly accused Moore of sexual contact with a minor, groping or pursuing relationships when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Moore has denied the allegations.

“He says it didn’t happen. And you know you have to listen to him also,” President Trump told reporters last week. “You’re talking about, he said, 40 years ago this did not happen. Roy Moore denies it. That’s all I can say. He denies it. And by the way, he totally denies it.”

Scott told ABC on Sunday that none of Moore’s denials have changed his mind.

“It is pretty clear to me that the best thing that Roy Moore could do for the country is to move on,” the senator said. “The reality of it is that the allegations are still very strong and credible, and the denial has been weak. It has gotten a little stronger, but it’s still fairly weak.”

“So, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many Republicans and conservatives in the senate, it is time for us to turn the page, because it is not about partisan politics. It’s not about electing Republicans versus Democrats, this is about the character of our country,” he added. “I want to be on the side of right when the history writes this story.”

Scott said Trump, who had not indicated whether he’d campaign with Moore before next month’s special election, with the White House saying today he will not, “will have to make his own decisions on where he thinks he is and why he’s there.”

“Partisan politics is very important in Washington. It’s how your get your job done on either side of the aisle,” he said. “From my perspective, I’m not taking it from a Republican perspective or a Democrat perspective, I’m thinking about those folks who have been negatively impacted by these allegations. I’m thinking about the long-term health of the country from a personal perspective that leads me to one conclusion. I’ve been there. I’m staying there. And I am looking for ways for us to heal this devastating wound in our country.”

Scott acknowledged that ultimately “the judge and the jury in this case will be the voters of Alabama.”

“While I have read through as many stories as I could get my hands on, I think the issue in the case is compelling, I have reached the conclusion. I think there are many Americans who disagree with me vehemently. I don’t necessarily understand how, but they do,” he said. “I look forward to addressing and following this issue as long as we can… when Americans disagree with me, whether it’s the president or other folks, it doesn’t change my opinion. But I’m certainly unable to change theirs.”

The senator emphasized that the country needs to focus on sexual harassment — “an offense that is so deplorable, so disgusting that we as a country need to fight against it tooth-and-nail with everything we have.”