On the heels of a blockbuster Washington Post story Thursday detailing alleged sexual abuse of a 14-year-old by a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Maine’s senior senator is calling on him to quit the race “if there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations.”
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, said candidate Roy Moore “should immediately step aside” if the newspaper story is accurate.
Her words are even stronger than those of a joint statement issued on behalf of all Republican senators by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
McConnell said that Moore must get out of the race “if these allegations are true,” a bit looser standard than the words chosen by Collins.
Moore told the Post, “These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign.”
Moore is vying with Democrat Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election for the chance to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who resigned to serve as President Donald Trump’s attorney general.
If Moore quits, it appears there is little chance the GOP could retain the seat. If he wins, there is a chance the Senate would refuse to seat him.
Republicans now control 52 of the 100 seats. If the margin narrows, it becomes even more difficult for them to pass controversial legislation unless there is unanimity within GOP ranks.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins