Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is also commenting on the Roy Moore scandal, which broke on Thursday. The Washington Post reported the GOP Alabama Senate candidate’s alleged sexual misconduct in 1979.
Ryan took a hard line on the issue. He said the allegations are “disqualifying if true.”
“Anyone who would do this to a child has no place in public office, let alone the United States Senate,” Ryan said in a statement.
In The Washington Post story, Moore was accused of having a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when he was 32.
Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney also called out Moore. He seemed to say Moore should step aside whether or not the allegations are true. He said Roy Moore is "unfit for office and should step aside.”
"Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections. I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside," said Romney.
Amid denouncements from Republicans, Roy Moore's brother is defending the GOP Senate candidate "to the hilt.” CNN correspondent Martin Savidge spoke to Jerry Moore on the phone.
Jerry Moore firmly denied the allegations against his brother and drew an analogy between his situation and the persecution of Jesus Christ, Savidge reported Friday in an interview with CNN's John Berman.
Moore said he knows “that the allegations against Roy Moore are not true, not true at all.” Jerry, who is Moore’s younger brother, also said "he's very concerned about what the impact is going to be on their 91-year-old mother, hearing all of this, they worry about her age and health.”
Jerry Moore unequivocally claimed that these “false allegations” come from the Democratic Party. He also said he believes “these women are going to… have to answer to God for these false allegations.”
Savidge says he asked Moore why he thought these women were coming forward now. He also asked what they hoped to gain.
”When I asked what does he believe the motivation is with these women coming forward making the accusations they have, again, Jerry Moore says it's money and the Democratic Party, implying that they are doing this because they're being paid in some way, and it is for the purpose of derailing or interrupting this campaign," Savidge said.
Moore made a controversial comparison. Jerry Moore said he believes “that his brother is being persecuted, in his own words, like Jesus Christ was," according to Savidge. "Very defiant and very outspoken, relying on his faith and defending his brother to the hilt."
Roy Moore denies the reports. He told The Washington Post, “These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and The Washington Post on this campaign."
Later Thursday, the candidate tweeted, "The Obama-Clinton Machine's liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me. We are in the midst of a spiritual battle with those who want to silence our message."
"The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steal—even inflict physical harm—if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me," he wrote.
Moore’s campaign chairman, Bill Armistead, released a lengthy statement, criticizing the Post and accusing the Post of publishing the story to hurt Moore. He cited the fact that the paper’s editorial board had endorsed Jones, his Democratic opponent.
“It is no surprise, with just over four weeks remaining, in a race for the U.S. Senate with national implications, that the Democratic Party and the country’s most liberal newspaper would come up with a fabrication of this kind,” he said.
Who do you believe? What do you think of Moore's brother comparing him to Jesus? Let us know in the comments. In other news, 776,000 popular vehicles were just recalled.