When Roy Moore went down in flames in the 2017 special election for the Alabama Senate seat after a series of women accused him of sexual misconduct and sexual assault, most assumed his political career was over. After all, it takes an incredibly flawed candidate to be able to lose an election in deep-red Alabama to a pro-choice Democrat. Unfortunately, it looks like Moore is seriously considering repeating this feat, taking steps that indicate he is weighing a 2020 run.
The Washington Examiner reported that Moore had “made the rounds at last Friday’s Alabama Republican Party dinner gala,” and that his political consultant son, Caleb Moore, had set up a political action committee this week that sent out a fundraising appeal by email.
Caleb Moore’s PAC is raising eyebrows even beyond the worries about potentially assisting his father with another failed campaign. The PAC is called “Conservative States of America,” and has used a graphic logo that displays the name as “C.S.A.,” the same abbreviation used by the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
Oh, come on.
Republicans get unfairly accused of racist dog whistles by Democrats and the media all the time. Why in the world would any sane Republican take deliberate actions to make it easier for them?
This isn’t rocket science. Don’t defend Hitler, don’t say neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville are “fine people,” and don’t name your PAC after the Confederacy.
As the Examiner noted, several Moore confidantes, including son Caleb and longtime friend and adviser Dean Young, “pointedly declined to rule out” that Moore would mount a bid to challenge Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), the first term Democrat who vanquished him in 2017.
“That’s a good question,” said Young, “I’m not at liberty to say anything about that right now.” Caleb Moore said that his PAC was a multi-candidate PAC not currently raising money for his father, but again would not rule out that happening in the future.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is aghast at the suggestion that the ballot-box-poison Moore might toss his cowboy hat in the ring in 2020 — a critical election year for not only control of the Senate, but also the White House. Having to spend money in what would otherwise be a safe general election would divert funds from other contested races.
“The NRSC’s official stance is ABRM: anyone but Roy Moore,” said Kevin McLaughlin, the NRSC’s executive director. “The only thing Doug Jones and I agree on is that his only prayer for electoral success in 2020 is a rematch with Roy Moore.”
It should be noted that in 2017, the Republican National Committee pulled out of a joint fundraising agreement with Moore’s campaign after the sexual assault allegations grew too numerous to ignore, but then backtracked in the eleventh hour and the party poured money into the state.
The Republicans’ best bet is to follow McLaughlin’s “Anyone But Roy Moore” mantra and find literally any Alabama resident over the age of 30 with a pulse and legal right to vote, and get them on the ballot. So far, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) has announced he will run, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), who lost to Moore in the 2017 primary, has said to be considering entering the race, contingent on Trump either endorsing him or agreeing to stay neutral during the primary.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.