At a rally Monday night just two weeks ahead of a vote to fill a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, Republican candidate Roy Moore said the sexual misconduct allegations against him are “simply dirty politics.”
Moore, speaking in Henagar, Ala., called his campaign “long and enduring,” and said his team has been waiting for it to end for “quite a while” following accusations of sexual assault against the former Alabama Supreme Court justice.
The controversial candidate said the accusations against him “hurt” him, calling it “a little odd” that throughout his 40 years of service, “never once has this been alleged.”
“The truth is this is not really odd at all,” Moore told a packed room of supporters and news media reporters. “This is simply dirty politics. And it’s a sign of the immorality of our time.”
Nine women have come forward in recent weeks to accuse the Senate hopeful of sexually inappropriate behavior, many of them underage — allegations he’s denied.
He added that he’s “represented many victims in cases such as this,” and said victims of sexual assault wouldn’t want “her picture posted on national TV, especially in a political advertisement.”
Moore told his supporters the “false attacks” against him are a sign of the times we live in, claiming they’re designed to be a distraction from “the issues people are really facing.”
While Moore criticized Washington and the news media indoors, Moore campaign staffers outside the venue "decided to ... physically manhandle two Fox News photographers."
A reporter from Alabama tweeted a video reportedly of to be Tony Goolsby, the DeKalb County coordinator for Moore's campaign, pushing the Fox News cameraman away.
The candidate, inside, reiterated his views to the crowd, pledging that if he were to be elected, he wouldn’t fund Planned Parenthood and would work to overturn Roe v. Wade.
He also noted his opposition to transgender rights.
“There’s no right to believe you’re a person of the opposite sex or opposite gender,” Moore said.
President Trump, who Moore said he wants to join in Washington to help push his agenda, told reporters last week that “you have to listen to” Moore because he denies the sexual misconduct allegations against him.
But despite the hint he might possibly campaign for Moore, a White House official told The Associated Press Monday that the president won’t be campaigning for the candidate in the upcoming weeks, citing lack of room on the president’s schedule.
Earlier on Monday, Republican Alabama Senator Richard Shelby told reporters that he didn’t vote for Moore, but rather “voted for a distinguished Republican write-in” whom he did not identify.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.