After shying away from Roy Moore over multiple allegations of past sexual misconduct, national Republicans jumped back into the race for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, as President Donald Trump on Monday publicly endorsed Moore, and the Republican National Committee decided to start spending money again on Moore’s embattled campaign, with one week until a special election in the Yellowhammer State.
“Go get ’em, Roy!” was what Moore said he was told by the President, as Mr. Trump called Moore from Air Force One on Monday morning, hours after tweeting his support for the controversial GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Alabama.
Moore then got even better news on Monday night, as officials at the RNC confirmed to various news organizations that the national GOP will again send money to Alabama to help Moore, even after giving up on him due to allegations of sexual misconduct.
It was just a few weeks ago that the Republican National Committee had followed the lead of a number of GOP Senators and withdrawn support for Moore, canceling a joint fundraising agreement.
But with a week to go until the elections, that’s all in the past.
While the President and RNC got behind Moore, there were other prominent voices within the party who said it was a mistake, as 2012 GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney again made clear that he saw no reason to support Moore.
“Roy Moore in the US Senate would be a stain on the GOP and on the nation,” Romney tweeted on Monday.
But there have been few voices pressing that case within the GOP – Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has publicly said it would be better for Alabama voters to elect Democrat Doug Jones than Moore on December 12.
“Mitt Romney is right,” Flake tweeted soon after the RNC resumed its financial support for Moore.
The developments with Moore came as both parties in the Congress were grappling with stories related to sexual misconduct.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who faces calls to resign over reports of unwanted sexual advances, was said to be ready to announce a decision on his future in Congress, as supporters said he would do that on a radio station in Detroit on Tuesday morning.
Conyers has been back in his home town since last week, when a former aide detailed charges of sexual misconduct; top Democrats led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi say Conyers – the longest serving member of the House – should resign.
Meanwhile, another Democrat, Rep. Ruben Kihuen of Nevada, was back on Capitol Hill, also facing calls by Pelosi and others for his resignation, over stories of unwanted advances during his campaign for Congress in 2016.
Back on the GOP side of the aisle, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) told a local television station in his district that he would repay an $84,000 legal settlement worked out with a former staffer, who had accused him of sexual harassment.
A House committee will hold a hearing this Thursday on the question of workplace settlements in the Legislative Branch, as critics say the Congress has relied on a system of secret payments – at taxpayer expense.
In the midst of all of those different story lines, one lawmaker, Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), had a simple message for her male counterparts in the Congress, as a way to prevent such troubles in the future.