Others pointed to Alabama’s senior senator, Republican Richard Shelby, who on Sunday admitted he didn’t vote for Moore and said the “Republican Party can do better.” One Moore supporter was overheard saying he’d like to find an establishment Republican like Shelby to “punch in the face” for involvement in Moore’s downfall.
Then there was Trump, who leaned on Moore after backing his GOP opponent during the primary. Trump is now 0-for-2 in his Alabama endorsements.
“What didn’t help is Republicans jumping ship during Roy Moore’s greatest time of need,” said Ben Smith, 25, a conservative University of Alabama student. “That destroyed any party unity we had left … I’m kind of just numb right now.”
Of course, no fingers were pointed in the direction of Moore himself, despite allegations that he sexually assaulted a child and harassed others. Nobody pointed at Moore, who ran for office after being defrocked as a judge ― twice ― for disrespecting federal law in favor of his God-and-country platform. Not one supporter we spoke to cast blame on the ex-judge from Gallant, who used to sign Bibles at his courthouse.
Moore gave a short, stuttering speech before he left on Tuesday ― an uncomfortable bookend to an awkward 24 hours. The night before, his wife Kayla bragged that the couple weren’t anti-Semitic because “one of our attorneys is a Jew.” Then, one of Moore’s old war buddies said the pals accidentally stumbled into a brothel together that was full of “very young” women.
On Tuesday morning in Gallant, Moore and his horse Sassy were effectively chased out of his own polling center by a throng of reporters desperate for quotes about a possible ethics violation should he win.
Nobody at his party had expected a loss like this.
There were rumblings of discontent well before the ex-judge faced allegations of sexual assault. Republicans at his own events had previously said they disliked him; conservative Christians said they didn’t trust him. After women began coming forward to describe how Moore pursued them as teens when he was in his 30s, lawyers and cops said they didn’t have the evidence at the time to throw the book at him.
In any case, Moore is gone for a while, along with the horse he rode in on. It leaves Democrats with a rare opportunity for a one-two punch.