A White House official told Reuters on Nov. 27 that President Donald Trump will not campaign for Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for an Alabama Senate seat.
Moore's bid to win the Dec. 12 special election has been overshadowed by allegations of sexual misconduct. A report by The Washington Post cited four women who accused Moore of making advances on them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
Trump has attacked Democratic candidate Doug Jones, Moore's rival, describing him as soft on crime and opposed to tax cuts.
Asked on Nov. 21 whether that criticism meant he would campaign for Moore, Trump responded: "I'll be letting you know next week," according to Reuters.
Trump reiterated his attacks on Jones Nov. 26 in a morning tweet.
"The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer-Pelosi puppet who is weak on crime, weak on the border, bad for our military and our great vets, bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY," wrote Trump, according to The New York Times.
The Jones campaign responded by arguing that the Democrat's record as a prosecutor "speaks for itself."
"Roy Moore was unfit for office before nine Alabama women served as witnesses to all Alabamians of his disturbing conduct," stated Sebastian Kitchen, Jones' spokesman, in an email to the Times. "Doug Jones is continuing to focus on finding common ground and getting things done for real Alabamians."
Another twist in the election could be in store with the Nov. 27 announcement that Lee Busby, a retired Marine colonel, is launching a write-in campaign for the Dec. 12 vote. He hopes to appeal to centrist voters.
"I think you can flip this thing," Busby told the Post. "If this were a military operation, the left flank and the right flank are heavily guarded. I think that gives you an opportunity to run straight up the middle."
Busby said he could not be certain about the allegations against Moore, which the former judge has denied.
"It has created enough distaste in my mind," stated Busby. "As a voter, I don't need to get to the bottom of it."
Busby added that he plans to run as an independent, relying on his experience as an investment banker, military veteran and defense contractor.
"I just don't believe that either one of them are qualified to be in the U.S. Senate," added Busby of Moore and Jones.
Sources: Reuters, The Washington Post, The New York Times / Featured Image: Shealah Craighead/whitehouse.gov via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, Shealah Craighead/whitehouse.gov via Wikimedia Commons