Paul Ryan cemented his position in the “Republicans you can criticize without being guilty of infighting” category created by the Donald Trump/Roy Moore wing of the party. Ryan has been in that category for a while but despite Moore’s performance in recent polls, the Speaker doubled down on his belief that Moore should drop out of the race to be Alabama’s next U.S. Senator.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Thursday reiterated his call for Alabama GOP Senate hopeful Roy Moore to drop out of the race over allegations of sexual misconduct, including assault.
“I think he should have dropped out,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference. “Just because the polling has changed doesn’t change my opinion on that, so I stand by what I said before.”
Ryan had made similar comments last month after Moore faced a flurry of allegations that he had aggressively pursued, and in at least one case sexually assaulted, teenage girls when Moore was in his 30s.
Unlike some other Republicans, Speaker Paul Ryan is refusing to change his position on Alabama Senate GOP candidate Roy Moore. https://t.co/FFjg0ghhMw
— Roll Call (@rollcall) December 7, 2017
Despite the allegations against him, which even many of his supporters believe to be at least credible, if not outright true, Judge Roy Moore has been performing well against Democrat Doug Jones in recent polling.
A Raycom News Network poll out this week showed that Moore had increased his lead over Jones, 50 percent to 43 percent.
President Trump and the Republican National Committee have gone all-in on support for Moore despite the allegations against him. Trump endorsed Moore on Monday, prompting the RNC to renew its support for his campaign.
I suspect it’s hard to accurately gauge the level of support for Moore because it’s likely that some support him while not wanting to admit it to a pollster.
This is yet another Kobayashi Maru election. There is no good option available.
There are some Republicans who don’t believe the allegations at all. Some are calculating that electing Moore will result in his being ousted on ethical grounds, enabling Alabama’s governor to appoint another interim (Republican) Senator until another special election sans child molestation charges can be held. Then there are those whose moral calculus tells them that a sex predator would make a fine U.S. Senator if he votes pro-life.
Obviously, Paul Ryan is one of those who still think Moore should just go away. That won’t earn him any points with the anti-establishment MAGA crowd, but no matter how Moore votes if elected he is likely going to be a millstone around the GOP’s neck. Democrats are sacrificing major players like Al Franken and John Conyers primarily to solidify the ground from which they’ll attack the GOP over Moore.