Roy Moore Gets Trump Endorsement and R.N.C. Funding for Senate Race
“No vote, no majority is worth losing our honor, our integrity,” Mr. Romney wrote on Twitter.
Although Mr. Moore appeared to be regaining important support in his party, some of his accusers pushed back at recent remarks in which he said he did not even know them, let alone behave inappropriately.
It is not clear whether the back-and-forth will do anything to change the contours of the race, which is especially close by the standards of a state where Republicans tend to rout their rivals, but many party officials believe that Mr. Moore has steadied his candidacy and that they should back — or at least avoid further antagonizing — someone who could soon be in the Senate.
Mr. McConnell, for instance, refrained Sunday from criticizing Mr. Moore or repeating earlier remarks indicating that the Senate might expel Mr. Moore if he were seated after numerous accusations of misconduct and unwanted overtures. Nine women have come forward in recent weeks to describe their encounters with Mr. Moore, including a woman who said that Mr. Moore molested her when she was 14 years old.
With the notable exception of Mr. Romney, many national Republicans seem to have shifted their approach: less active criticism of Mr. Moore and fewer threats of his swift expulsion from Congress, and more guarded comments, if any at all. Mr. Trump, though, could prove far more vocal about the race, especially when he appears Friday in Pensacola, Fla., which is within the Mobile, Ala., media market.
Unlike many Republicans in Washington, Mr. Trump, who himself has been accused of sexual misconduct, never cut off Mr. Moore completely. On Nov. 21, he telegraphed his support when he repeated Mr. Moore’s denials of impropriety and attacked Mr. Jones. But until Monday, it was unclear how much more Mr. Trump would do to aid Mr. Moore’s campaign.
Many top White House officials were not aware that Mr. Trump intended to fully tie himself to Mr. Moore on Monday; as in so many instances, they found out about his decision from his posts on Twitter. West Wing officials said Mr. Trump simply wants Republicans to retain control of the seat that Attorney General Jeff Sessions held for 20 years, and he is willing to avert his gaze from the allegations to stop Mr. Jones.
Speaking to a group of Republican senators last week, the president said he was not particularly enthused about Mr. Moore’s candidacy, but he felt as if his victory would represent a better outcome than the election of a Democrat who would often oppose their agenda, according to a Republican official in the room for the conversation.