Roy Moore, Steve Bannon rally ahead of Alabama Senate election despite protests (Real-Time News from AL.com)

Roy Moore, Steve Bannon rally ahead of Alabama Senate election despite protests

http://bit.ly/2B5T0fQ

Former Alabama State Supreme Court chief justice Roy Moore, one week before the Dec. 12 special Senate election, said Tuesday he “can’t wait” to “take Alabama values” to Washington during a rally inside a barn south of Fairhope.

“I’ve been called out-of-touch when I stood for the Constitution … I’ve been called a racist, merely for saying I’d protect our borders and a bigot because I stood for the sancity of marriage and against same-sex marriage,” Moore said during an approximately half-hour speech before a large group of supporters, some whom carried signs praising the former judge, Breitbart News and Jesus. The Republican Senate candidate will square off against Democrat Doug Jones on Dec. 12.

Said Moore: “What hurts the most is I’ve been called foolish for believing in God. I think they are afraid I will take Alabama values to Washington. I can’t wait.”

The ex-judge’s speech came after Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist under President Donald Trump, rallied the pro-Moore crowd by blasting what he termed the “establishment” of the GOP that included Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The rally was held inside the same rustic barn at Oak Hollow Farm where a similar rally was held on Sept. 25, which was one day before the runoff election in which Moore defeated Senator Luther Strange by nine percentage points.

And while that rally drew a large crowd, Tuesday’s event was bigger with more pro-Moore supporters and more national media crammed into a venue that serves as a wedding reception hall and church.

The large crowd was also met with protests, most notably from a group of women dressed in scarlet robes as part of a “Handmaids Resistance” outside the venue. The women’s protest was out of objection to Moore’s campaign and in defense of the women who have come forward in past month accusing Moore of inappropriate relationships with teenage girls decades ago.

Moore called the entire spectacle of the special Senate campaign as “unusual,” but he did not address the allegations that have hampered his campaign for the past month.

“I understand we have the Soros army here,” Moore said, referring to Democratic billionaire donor George Soros. On Monday, he suggested to a radio show host that Soros was going to hell. “They are working around the state to get the vote of the people of Alabama to change.”

Added Moore: “Why is it so special? It’s special because it’s a precursor. Donald Trump did one of the most tremendous things a person can do. He fought both the Republicans and the Democrats and became President of the United States, (but) if we don’t take an opportunity to address the issues in this country, we will lose it.”

Moore’s speech came amid a political boost he’s gotten this week with an endorsement from Trump and the backing of the Republican National Committee, which had withdrawn its support last month after allegations about Moore’s past first surfaced.

Even Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has been the target of the Moore campaign for months, acquiesced on his previous call for Moore to drop out of the race when he said on Monday that the decision needs to be made by the Alabama voters.

Moore has previously declared that McConnell needed to be removed from his leadership post. On Tuesday, he continued to blast the Republican establishment for its fundraising efforts during the Republican primary against him.

Moore compared the Senate establishment politicians to Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, whose voyage in 1492 landed him in the present-day Bahamas when his crew thought they had landed in India.

“These politicians remind me of Christopher Columbus … he came to America. He didn’t know where he was going and when he left and went back home, he couldn’t say where he’d been. But he spent all the money,” Moore said. “I don’t want to criticize Christopher Columbus. He had something they don’t have in Washington. He had courage.”

The attack-the-GOP establishment theme kicked off with Bannon’s speech, who chastised Flake’s $100 donation to Democrat Doug Jones as a protest to Moore’s campaign. And Bannon suggested that McConnell’s statement that the Senate decision needs to be made by Alabama voters was in response to recent polling that shows the ex-judge leading heading into the election.

“The polls start coming back and they start changing their minds,” Bannon said. “They have no interest in what you were going to say. They think you are a bunch of rubes. They hold you in contempt. It’s not Judge Moore they are trying to shut up, it’s you they are trying to shut up.”

Bannon also ripped Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee who lost to President Barack Obama.

Romney has been critical of Moore, calling him unfit for office and who said on Monday that if the former judge were to serve in the Senate, it would be a “stain on the GOP and on the nation.”

Said Bannon: “Judge Moore is a military graduate, and served his country in one of the toughest wars we’ve ever had, Vietnam. He went over there for his country and his state and his family. Mitt, that’s honor and integrity. By the way, Mitt, you avoided service, brother.”

Romney, who is Mormon, received a missionary deferment during the Vietnam War.

“You want to talk about honor and integrity, bring it. Bring it down here to Alabama. Judge Roy Moore has more honor and integrity in his pinkie finger than your entire family has,” Bannon said.

But Bannon stopped short of bashing Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, who said last week he wasn’t voting for Moore but was instead writing in a Republican candidate. When someone shouted for Bannon to address Shelby, he said: “This is a tough crowd.”

The rally got off to a late start because Bannon’s plane had been delayed. But that didn’t seem to bother the crowd as they listened to bluegrass music and were interviewed by a hoard of national and international media that covered the event.

And inside the barn, a vast majority of the pro-Moore crowd scoffed at allegations that the ex-judge behaved inappropriately with teenage girls when he was in his 30s and serving as a prosecutor in Etowah County.

“I don’t believe all that stuff about him,” said Harry Neese of Fairhope, who has followed the judge’s lengthy career as an Alabama State Supreme Court chief justice. “Thirty, forty years ago, how can you remember that far back? And then they waited until the last minute to bring it up.”

Alice Woodall of Spanish Fort and Carrie Dick of Bay Minette, friends who attend New Life Assembly of God church services together, said they believed that Moore has nothing to do with the accusations that have been made against him.

“That’s between God and him,” said Woodall. “He stood up and said those allegations are false. I believe him and take his word on that.”

Alabama

via Real-Time News from AL.com http://bit.ly/2zzWl2c

December 5, 2017 at 07:50PM