Controversial Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore at a Texas Capitol rally on March 24, 2015.
Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis/Getty

Roy Moore’s survival strategy comes into focus

Updated

The Rachel Maddow Show, 11/14/17, 9:41 PM ET

McConnell handling of past sex scandal a warning for Roy Moore

Rachel Maddow reminds viewers of the sexual harassment case against Senator Bob Packwood and how Mitch McConnell used the Senate Ethics Committee and the threat of expulsion to drive Packwood from the Senate in shame. So he knows how to handle Moore.
Roy Moore’s Republican Senate candidacy in Alabama is facing a precarious future. GOP senators have abandoned him in droves; the National Republican Senatorial Committee has ended its relationship with Moore’s campaign; and yesterday, the Republican National Committee scrapped its field operation in Alabama in advance of the Dec. 12 special election.

Moore and his allies, however, have a survival strategy, and it came into focus last night at the Walker Springs Road Baptist Church in Jackson, where the right-wing candidate, accused of sexual misconduct towards teenagers, delivered extemporaneous remarks.

Describing a nation in spiritual decline – Moore lamented the end of government-sponsored prayer in public schools – the GOP candidate complained, for example, that the government “started creating new rights in 1965.”

Moore didn’t elaborate, but it’s worth noting for context that Congress approved the Voting Rights Act in 1965, a year after passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Neither law was popular in Alabama. [Update: 1965 was also the year the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut, which said women had a right to access contraception through a right to privacy.]

In case that was too subtle, this was less understated.

Also Tuesday, it was revealed that at least one person in Alabama received a robocall from someone claiming to be a reporter for the Washington Post seeking to pay money for claims against Moore – a fake call that was condemned by the newspaper. The call was first reported by CBS station WKRG of Mobile, who spoke to a pastor who got the call.

The newspaper denied making the call.

“The Post has just learned that at least one person in Alabama has received a call from someone falsely claiming to be from The Washington Post. The call’s description of our reporting methods bears no relationship to reality,” Post Executive Editor Marty Baron said in a statement.

And what made-up name did the fake reporter use? Bernie Bernstein.

Moore and his allies have reason to worry about the election’s outcome, but how they’re responding to these circumstances says a great deal about the candidate and the kind of message he believes will resonate with Alabama voters.

Alabama

Roy Moore's survival strategy comes into focus

Updated