Moore, wife blast Washington establishment and media in final appeal (Politico)

Moore, wife blast Washington establishment and media in final appeal

http://politi.co/2AuQa4j

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — A defiant Roy Moore returned to the campaign trail Monday evening, delivering a thundering speech at an election eve rally in which he implored Alabamians to ignore outsiders who he said were bent on stopping him in the Senate special election.

“We dare to defend our rights and we will defend our rights,” Moore, who has been abandoned by much of the Republican Party establishment, told an audience of several hundred packed into a barn. “We’re up to our neck in people that don’t want change in Washington, D.C., they want to keep their power, keep it the same, keep their positions, and we’ve got to change that.”

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The 24-minute speech served as the capstone of a campaign that has thrust the special election into a spiraling national dialogue over sexual harassment. Moore, a twice-removed controversial former state Supreme Court justice, has faced allegations that he preyed on teenage girls as a man in his 30s.

As he has done in the past, Moore denied the allegations against him — this time, calling them “disgusting” and reiterating his belief that they emerged just weeks before the election in an attempt to defeat him. He cast the accusations as part of a broader, establishment-led effort to destroy him and to undermine his character. Neither Republicans nor Democrats, he argued, wanted him in the Senate.

Moore also pointed out that both parties had spent millions against him, first in the Republican primary and then in Tuesday’s general election, when he faces Democrat Doug Jones.

Yet the “verdict” of the race, he said, wasn’t up to the Washington political class or the members of the national media who were also in attendance.

“If you don’t believe in my character,” he added, “don’t vote for me.”

As he made his final appeal, Moore was joined at the rally by two of his most loyal surrogates — both of whom tried to buttress the candidate’s case that he was under siege by a powerful political establishment.

Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore lambasted the national press corps for its portrayal of her husband. At one point, she noted that her husband had been painted by the “fake media” as unfriendly to Jews.

“One of our attorneys is a Jew,” Kayla Moore said in response, adding that she also has close friends and religious partners who are Jewish.

It was the embattled Moore’s first public appearance in six days — an absence that has baffled some Republicans given the closeness of the race. During his speech, Moore mocked reporters who had written stories about his disappearance from the trail, saying that he had spent two-and-a-half days visiting his alma mater, West Point.

It was further evidence, the candidate said, that the media was out to get him.

Also making an appearance was former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, a Moore ally who has campaigned with him twice over the last week. Bannon lit into the GOP establishment for what he argued was its role in trying to marginalize Moore.

At one point, Bannon ripped longtime Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, who revealed over the weekend that he didn’t vote for Moore. The broadside drew jeers from the audience.

“There’s a special place in hell for Republicans who should know better. You know what they’re doing is trying to shut up President Trump and Judge Moore,” he said. “They would rather see Roy Moore beaten tomorrow, you know that.”

It was the embattled Moore’s first public appearance in six days — an absence that has baffled some Republicans given the closeness of the race. During his speech, Moore mocked reporters who had written stories about his disappearance from the trail, saying that he had spent two-and-a-half days visiting his alma mater, West Point.

It was further evidence, the candidate said, that the media was out to get him.

While Moore was campaigning with Bannon, Jones was in Birmingham at an appearance with former NBA star and Alabama native Charles Barkley.

“If somebody said to you this was a movie script, you would throw it in the trash. There’s no way possible this other dude could be leading in any polls,” Barkley said. “At some point, we got to stop looking like idiots to the nation. I love Alabama, but at some point we have to draw a line in the and show we’re not a bunch of damn idiots.”

A pair of Monday polls offered conflicting glimpses of the race heading into Election Day. On Monday, Fox News released a poll showing Jones with a surprising 10-point lead, conflicting with other recent public surveys showing Moore as a slight favorite.

A Monmouth poll released later Monday had the race a pure toss-up that will be decided based on which Alabamians show up to vote. The survey reported that a turnout like that of the 2014 midterms would result in a 4-point Moore win. But if turnout tracks with elections earlier this year, the race is essentially tied, and if it looks like the 2016 presidential race, Jones would win narrowly.

As the race entered the home stretch, it took on a decidedly nationalized feel. Jones was the beneficiary of robocalls call from former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden. In an effort to generate black support. Jones campaigned over the weekend with former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

In his absence, Moore leaned heavily on President Donald Trump. On Friday, the president held a campaign-style rally in the Florida Panhandle, miles across the state line, in which he expressed support for Moore. Trump also recorded a robocall for Moore.

As he made his final pitch on Monday, Moore appeared to marvel at how much attention the contest had gotten.

“This race,” he said, “has been very odd.”

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via Politico http://politi.co/2lnbIsw

December 11, 2017 at 09:32PM

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