MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The wife of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore said Friday her husband won’t quit the race in the face of allegations that he sexually assaulted young women years ago.
Standing on the white marble steps of the state Capitol, Kayla Moore was joined by several dozen women at a rally supporting Moore as she spoke in defense of her husband.
The couple has been married for more than 32 years, and Kayla Moore said her Army veteran husband has always been a gentleman.
“He will not step down. He will not stop fighting for the people of Alabama,” said Kayla Moore, who did not take questions.
Standing across the street, a single protester held a sign that said: “Roy Moore is a pedophile.”
Moore has ignored mounting calls from Washington Republicans concerned that if he stays in the race against Democrat Doug Jones he may not only lose a seat they were sure to win but also may do significant damage to the party’s brand among women nationwide as they prepared for a difficult midterm election season.
Speaking with reporters in Birmingham on Thursday night, Jones said it was “really unfortunate” that state GOP leaders had chosen to discount the allegations of women and stick with Moore.
“One of the problems in this state is that people continue to put a political party above what is in the best interest of the state and what’s in the best interest of the country,” said Jones.
But women who joined Kayla Moore at the rally said the accusations of sexual misconduct don’t fit with the man they know.
“I do not recognize the Roy Moore these ladies are describing,” Ann Eubank, a longtime fixture in Republican politics.
On Thursday, Moore appeared alongside more than a dozen religious leaders who took turns bashing the Christian conservative’s many critics — especially his female accusers.
Emotions ran high for some Moore supporters. Following an appearance by more than a dozen evangelicals who spoke on stage in support of Moore, some shouted down journalists who attempted to ask Moore about the women’s accusations.
“You are the fake, lying news from the swamp!” yelled one woman. Minister and longtime anti-abortion activist Flip Benham grabbed the camera of an Associated Press journalist and repeatedly said: “Did you stop beating your wife, yes or no?”
President Donald Trump, through a spokeswoman, called the allegations of sexual misconduct against the former judge “very troubling.” The Republican president stopped short of calling on Moore to quit the race, however, breaking with most Republican leaders in Washington, including McConnell, the Senate majority leader.