Here Are All The Republicans Calling On Roy Moore To Drop Out Of The Alabama Senate Race

As well as those in the GOP who say Moore should drop out "if it's true" that he tried to initiate sexual conduct with a 14-year-old when he was in his thirties.

Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, is refusing to drop out of the race despite a bombshell Washington Post report featuring four women who said he tried to date them when they were teenagers and he was in his thirties.

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One woman, Leigh Corfman, told newspaper that in 1979, when she was 14, Moore “took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.”

The other women said Moore, who is known for his controversial comments against LGBT people and Muslims, tried to date them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.

Moore has angrily denied the allegations, calling them "fake news" designed to swing the election against him. However, he also said he did not remember whether he had gone on dates with some of the girls. "If we did go on dates, then we did," he said of one woman who claims she was 17 at the time she dated Moore.

On Sunday, Moore threatened to sue the Washington Post over the story containing the allegations, NBC News reported, though he provided no details about when such a suit would be filed.

One poll shows the race is now tied between Moore and Democrat Doug Jones to fill the Senate seat that once belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Many Republicans have said they were seriously troubled by the report, but most have hedged their public statements to say that Moore should step aside "if" the reports are true.

Here are the Republicans calling on Moore to drop out immediately or withdrawing their support:

1. Sen. Mitch McConnell

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The Senate majority leader said Monday that he believes the women who were quoted in the Post story. He added that Moore "should step aside" from the Alabama senate race.

McConnell had earlier said that Moore should step down "if these allegations are true."

2. Speaker Paul Ryan

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Ryan initially said the allegations against Moore would be "disqualifying if true," but on Tuesday came out with a stronger denouncement.

"“He should step aside," Ryan said. "No. 1, these allegations are credible. No. 2, if he cares about the values and people he claims to care about, then he should step aside.”

3. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner

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"If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election," Gardner initially said in a statement.

But on Monday, Gardner went further and said he now believed the women. He said if Moore wins the election, senators should band together and expel him.

"I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office," Gardner said. "If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.”

4. Sen. John McCain

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The Arizona senator called the allegations against Moore deeply disturbing and disqualifying. "He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of," McCain tweeted.

5. Sen. Richard Shelby

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The senior senator from Alabama told reporters Wednesday he would not be voting for Moore in the upcoming election but writing in "a distinguished Republican" instead.

"We've got a disturbing situation in Alabama," Shelby told reporters regarding the current allegations against Moore.

Shelby told reporters he had considered writing in Jeff Sessions.

"That idea has been floating around. He was was a good senator," Shelby told reporters. "He'd make a good senator right now. (But) he's the attorney general of the United States. Seems to be enjoying it."

Shelby said he would reveal who he would vote for as a write-in candidate "a little later."

6. Sen. Susan Collins

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The Senator from Maine, who had initially qualified her comments about the Moore allegations with "if there is any truth," released a statement on Monday calling on him to step down.

"I have now read Mr. Moore’s statement and listened to his radio interview in which he denies the charges," Collins said. "I did not find his denials to be convincing and believe that he should withdraw from the Senate race in Alabama."

She later added that if Moore does wind up being elected, the Senate will face some tough decisions.

"I believe that if he were elected by the people of Alabama that it would be very difficult and would create constitutional issues were he not to be seated, but... then is the issue of whether he's allowed to remain in the Senate," she said. "That would involve an investigation by the Ethics Committee, and a very complicated process. And I think we're getting ahead of ourselves when we start talking about those issues. It would be far better if Mr. Moore just decided to step aside, and did so immediately."

7. Sen. Mike Lee

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

The Utah senator retracted his endorsement of Moore on Friday. "Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate," Lee tweeted.

8. Sen. Steve Daines

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The junior senator from Montana withdrew his support from Moore on Friday. "I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate," Daines tweeted after the Post story was published.

9. Sen. Bill Cassidy

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The senator from Louisiana used a tweet on Saturday to announce he was withdrawing his support.

"Based on the allegations against Roy Moore, his response and what is known, I withdraw support," he wrote.

10. Gov. John Kasich

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Ohio's moderate Republican governor called on his party to immediately abandon Moore. "I've long opposed Roy Moore & his divisive viewpoints. The actions described make him unfit for office," Kasich tweeted Friday. "The GOP must not support him. He should step aside."

11. Gov. Larry Hogan

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The governor of Maryland accused members of his own party of a double standard and called Moore "unfit for office."

"Roy Moore’s defenders should ask themselves if they would be so quick to excuse him if the victim was their daughter or if the offender was a Democrat," Hogan tweeted. "He is unfit for office and should step aside. Americans are better than this."

12. Mitt Romney

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The 2012 Republican presidential candidate (and rumored hopeful for Utah's US Senate seat) said he believes Moore's youngest accuser.

"Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections," Romney tweeted. "I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside."

13. Sen. Pat Toomey

NBC Meet The Press

After initially running with the line that Moore should resign over the allegations "if true," the junior Senator from Pennsylvania hardened his position on Sunday, saying on Meet the Press that "it would be best if Roy would just step aside."

14. Sen. Orrin Hatch

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The Utah Senator piggybacked on Mitch McConnell's call for Moore to end his campaign and for the possibility of a write-in candidate, tweeting, "I stand with the Majority Leader on this. These are serious and disturbing accusations, and while the decision is now in the hands of the people of Alabama, I believe Luther Strange is an excellent alternative."

Hatch also noted that he believes Moore's accusers. "I tend to believe people...when they say things, especially things like this," he told reporters Monday.

15. Sen. Lindsey Graham

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The South Carolina senator tweeted, "In light of the most recent allegations and the cumulative effect of others, I believe Roy Moore would be doing himself, the state, the GOP, and the country a service by stepping aside."

He ominously added, "If he continues this will not end well for Mr. Moore."

16. Sen. Thom Tillis

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The Republican senator from North Carolina on Monday tweeted: "The allegations leveled at Roy Moore are disturbing. I have serious concerns about his prior conduct and fitness for office. He should immediately withdraw from the race."

17. Sen. Jeff Flake

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The Republican senator from Arizona tweeted a story about the latest woman to allege misconduct, saying: "There are no words. Other than step aside immediately."

He also addressed reporters on Capitol Hill, saying there was no alternative, he'd prefer a Democrat win the race.

"If the choice is between Roy Moore and a Democrat? A Democrat," he said. "No doubt. No doubt."

18. Sen. Richard Burr

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The Republican from North Carolina told reporters Monday that "with five women now coming forward, Moore should do the right thing and withdraw from the race.”

Here are the Republicans who clearly don't want Moore to run, despite not really using those words.

1. Sen. Lisa Murkowski

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The Alaska senator has said she was "horrified" by the reports, adding "if this is true he needs to step down immediately."

But despite hedging her language, she also revealed she had taken the extraordinary step of getting in touch with Luther Strange, who Moore beat in the primary, to mount a write-in campaign. (Murkowski herself won election on a write-in campaign in 2010.)

2. Sen. Bob Corker

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The Tennessee senator and Trump critic on Saturday implied that Moore should never have been the Republican candidate to begin with. "Look, I'm sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore's nomination was a bridge too far," he tweeted.

3. Sen. Rob Portman

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The Ohio senator initially used the hedged "if true" language in his statement, but then appeared to suggest he believed the report.

"I think if what we read is true, and people are on the record so I assume it is, then he should step aside," Portman said. "I think it’d be best for him, best for the state.”

4. Sen. John Cornyn

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The Texas senator took the unusual step of withdrawing his endorsement of Moore, but maintained the "if true" language and stopped short of calling for him to withdraw from the race.

And here's the "if true" crowd (i.e., those who have said Moore should drop out if the reports are true, but haven't provided litmus test for what would be enough evidence):

* President Donald Trump: "Like most Americans, the president believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person’s life," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. "However, the president also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside."

* Vice President Mike Pence: "The vice president found the allegations in the story disturbing and believes, if true, this would disqualify anyone from serving in office," a spokesperson said.

* Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin: On State of the Union on Sunday morning, Mnuchin said Moore should step down said “if the allegations prove to be true."

* Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby: "If that’s true, he doesn’t belong in the Senate," the state's senior senator said, according to Politico. On Monday, he said Moore should "seriously consider" dropping out.

* Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: “These are serious and troubling allegations,” Cruz told the Austin American-Statesman. “If they are true, Judge Moore should immediately withdraw. However, we need to know the truth, and Judge Moore has the right to respond to these accusations.”

* South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott: "If they’re accurate, he should step aside," Scott said, according to NBC News.



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.