Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks is standing by GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, arguing that the Senate needs Moore’s vote.
“There are major issues facing the United States of America — deficit and debt that can lead to insolvency and bankruptcy, funding for national security, border security, abortion, appointment of Supreme Court justices. Doug Jones will vote wrong on each of those issues,” Brooks said Monday night after House votes. “Roy Moore will vote right; that’s why I’m voting for Roy Moore.”
Moore faces allegations of making sexual and romantic advances toward minors. A fifth accuser came forward Monday, alleging Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called on Moore to step aside as the GOP nominee. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner said Monday that if Moore wins the Dec. 12 election he should be expelled from the Senate.
Asked if he’d seen Gardner’s comments, Brooks — who supported Moore in the runoff — was defiant.
“I have seen what a lot of people have said. A United States senator from Alabama is going to have a huge effect on national public policy issues and the votes that will be cast on the Senate floor will determine the future of our country. That is my primary concern,” Brooks said.
Asked if he thought Moore could win, Brooks — holding open an elevator door so he could finish his thought — said, "Anybody can win." He then alluded to polling conducted since the Washington Post published the allegations against Moore that showed the GOP nominee leading Democratic nominee Doug Jones.
Brooks sought the GOP nomination for Senate earlier this year, basing much of his campaign on opposition to McConnell and GOP leadership. He came in third in the primary, losing a spot in the runoff that led to Moore securing the nomination over Sen. Luther Strange. Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by McConnell, spent millions defending Strange and attacking Brooks for being insufficiently supportive of President Donald Trump.
Brooks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, faces a primary in his 5th District from Iraq War veteran Clayton Hinchman. Brooks ended the third quarter with $560,000 cash on hand to Hinchman's $30,000.
Brooks didn’t directly rule out waging a write-in Senate campaign himself. “As long as Roy Moore is our nominee, a Republican cannot wage a write-in campaign, under Alabama Republican Party rules, and be on the ballot as a Republican in the future,” Brooks said when asked about the possibility.
Like other members of the Alabama delegation, Brooks was initially reluctant to talk to reporters Monday night. "Thank you, but no thank you," he said, running away from reporters onto the House floor before evening votes.
Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell said she had not spoken to her colleagues about Moore. Asked why they had not commented on the allegations, she said, “Because they endorsed.”
“The allegations are deeply disturbing and the fact that more women are coming out suggests that the allegations are more true than not, and he should step aside,” Sewell said off the House floor. “... We’re working hard to make sure we get out the vote for the Democratic candidate who is the perfect foil, the perfect juxtaposition I guess, against Roy Moore.”