As more salacious allegations come out against GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, the heat has been increasing on Republicans to separate themselves from the man. However, Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.), both longtime darlings of constitutional conservatives, have yet to revoke their endorsement of Moore or, in light of the growing allegations, explain why they haven’t.
Rand Paul deserves some grace after the assault he experienced on Nov. 3, but the senator returned to work Monday and it’s not as if a statement on Moore takes a lot of time or effort.
Senators, including Mike Lee (Utah), Bill Cassidy (La.), and Cruz’s fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn, have revoked their endorsements of Moore.
The chair of the Republican National Senatorial Committee, Cory Gardner (Colo.), called for Moore to step aside on Monday. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (Ky.), also said he believes Moore’s accusers and thinks he needs to step down.
Moore has veritably no support left from the GOP. It leaves one open to wonder why two of the most well-known conservative senators are the only ones left staying mum on their endorsements.
Paul and Cruz are known for their contrarian ways and for often going against the grain of standard GOP orthodoxy — indeed, it’s what conservatives have loved most about the two over the years — but one would hope in a case like this that would not even enter into the calculus.
So, again, what is preventing them from joining other Senators and withdrawing their endorsements?
[As this article was nearing publication, Ted Cruz addressed, somewhat obliquely, his feelings on who Alabamans should support, saying “I am not able to urge the people of Alabama to support his candidacy so long as these allegations remain unrefuted.” That’s not exactly “I withdraw my endorsement” in stark terms, but it is effectively saying he can’t continue to endorse his campaign going forward.]
No response to requests for comment have been received from Rand Paul’s office.
I don’t believe Cruz or Paul should be harangued into unendorsing Moore if they don’t want to. However, they do owe their constituents, supporters, and donors an explanation and justification for why they are continuing to endorse a man facing more than a handful of allegations ranging from inappropriate relationships with minors to outright sexual assault.