How do you express support for a candidate who has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing teenage girls? If you’re President Donald Trump, the answer seems to be without actually naming him and making clear the alternative would be far, far worse. On Sunday the commander in chief doubled down on his support for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore by disparaging his opponent, Doug Jones, as “the last thing we need in Alabama.” Why would Jones be worse than an accused sex offender? Because he “is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY.”
Although Trump hasn’t flat out endorsed Moore, this is not the first time he has effectively done so by harshly criticizing his opponent. Before he left for his Thanksgiving holiday, Trump told reporters that he didn’t want Democrats to win another seat in the Senate. “I can tell you one thing for sure: We don’t need a liberal person in there, a Democrat,” Trump told reporters.
In a later tweet, Trump seemed to try to slightly distance himself from Moore, making clear he was far from his first choice for the candidacy. “I endorsed Luther Strange in the Alabama Primary,” Trump wrote. Now the important thing is that Alabama “can’t let Schumer/Pelosi win this race.”
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that Trump is “definitely trying to throw a lifeline to Roy Moore.” Graham noted Republicans are in a lose-lose position when it comes to Moore. “If he wins, we get the baggage of him winning, and it becomes a story every day about whether or not you believe the women or Roy Moore, should he stay in the Senate, should he be expelled?” Graham said. “If you lose, you give the Senate seat to a Democrat at a time where we need all the votes we can get.”