Roy Moore race no easy call for President Trump – Orange County Register

Whether Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore wins or loses his election on Dec. 12, it’s going to be bad news for President Donald Trump.

Moore has been credibly accused of inappropriate, possibly illegal, sexual misconduct with teenagers back when he was a 30-something district attorney decades ago. In early November he told radio host Sean Hannity, “These allegations are completely false and misleading.” But when his defense later shifted to include statements like, “I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother,” GOP support for his campaign began to hemorrhage. Stalwart conservative Sen. Ted Cruz withdrew his endorsement, and Moore lost the backing of the Republican National Committee and the Senate GOP leadership.

Trump’s response has been nuanced, reflecting both an awkward personal situation for the president, who has himself been accused of sexual misconduct, and a political quandary. The success of his presidency depends on the willingness of the U.S. Senate to pass the legislation he promised voters, including the centerpiece of his economic program, tax reform. That won’t get any easier if the narrow 52-48 GOP majority is sliced to 51-49.

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