There are still some Republicans in Alabama with enough of a conscience to oppose Roy Moore in his Senatorial bid. The senior Republican Senator from the state, Richard Shelby, came out as one of them this morning on CNN’s State of the Union.
Senator Shelby urged his fellow Alabamians to reject their party’s official candidate who has been tainted with credible allegations of pedophilia. The Senator told host Jake Tapper:
“There’s a time, we call it a tipping point, and I think so many accusations, so many cuts, so many drip, drip, drip, when it got to the 14-year-old story, that was enough for me. I said, I can’t vote for Roy Moore.”
Shelby referred to his former colleague in the Senate and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose seat Moore is trying to win, in his decision to believe the multiple allegations from women who have provided physical evidence of their encounters with Moore.
“I think the women are believable. I have no reason not to believe them. just like the Attorney General Sessions said. He had no reason not to believe the women. They were credible. But I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened. But there are a lot of stories there, a lot of smoke. Gotta to be some fire somewhere.”
For these reasons, Shelby urged the citizens of his state to do what he did and support a write-in Republican candidate.
“I didn’t vote for Roy Moore. But I wrote in a distinguished Republican name. And I think a lot of people could that,” he said to Tapper.
Shelby didn’t say who he voted for, but it may have been Luther Strange, who was appointed by Alabama’s governor to hold the Senate seat until the results of next week’s special election are tallied. It could also have been former Marine Col. Lee Busby, who declared his write-in candidacy last week.
Whomever he voted for, Senator Shelby’s conscience may result in some political fallout for the legislator. He is defying the will of both the Alabama Republican party organization, as well as the Republican National Committee which pulled an about face on its refusal to provide funding for Moore’s campaign after President Trump declared his unwavering support of an alleged pedophile over the chance of Democrat Doug Jones gaining the seat.
It’s heartening to see at least one Republican sticking to high moral ground in this race, but, by being the exception, Senator Shelby proves the rule that Republicans always choose the self-interest of the party over their country.
You can See Jake Tapper’s conversation with Senator Shelby below: