Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had been a rather vocal critic of Roy Moore’s radical Senate candidacy in Alabama. It was just a couple of weeks ago that the GOP leader said the Alabama Republican, accused of, among other things, child molestation, is “obviously not fit to be in the United States Senate.”
McConnell acknowledged at the time that he and his colleagues were exploring way “to prevent” Moore from joining the chamber.
And with this in mind, it was a little jarring to see McConnell on ABC News yesterday, saying in reference to Moore, “I’m going to let the people of Alabama make the call.”
Evidently, he’s not the only prominent Republican who’s changing his posture.
President Donald Trump on Monday offered his strongest support yet to embattled Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.
“Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet,” Trump tweeted in the first of two posts.
At face value, Trump described a less-than-ideal posture for his party: tax cuts for the wealthy are great, so elect the alleged child molester.
It’s also problematic for the president to make the case that “stopping crime” is a priority, which is why he wants voters to support a candidate accused of sexual assault over a former federal prosecutor.
But it’s also worth pausing to appreciate the evolution of Trump World’s thinking on the scandal.
As recently as Nov. 10 – hardly ancient history – White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in reference to the allegations surrounding Moore that the president “believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside.”
On Nov. 15, Ivanka Trump, a prominent White House aide and presidential daughter, said in apparent reference to Moore, “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.”
On Nov. 19, White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short added that Trump does, in fact, believe Moore’s accusers.
But on Nov. 21, the shift began. The president suggested on camera that he believed Moore’s denials. Today, Trump has abandoned any sense of pretense, throwing support behind Moore at least in part because Democrats opposed his regressive and unpopular tax breaks.
Those reports from September about the president being an “independent,” bound by “no party,” aren’t holding up especially well.