Gov. Henry McMaster is joining his fellow Republicans U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott in calling for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to drop out of the race as the Republican faces allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Unless Mr. Moore can somehow disprove these allegations, he needs to go,’’ McMaster said Tuesday, referring to multiple witnesses who have come forward against Moore.
During a news conference in Columbia, McMaster, who is seeking a four-year term in 2018, said he has no sympathy for people who abuse others.
“This thing with people abusing other people, particularly children, is something that is a scourge,’’ the former S.C. attorney general said.
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Moore has been accused by five women of making sexual advances toward them while they were teenagers. The most recent allegation came from an Alabama woman who accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.
Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has denied the allegations. He faces Democrat Doug Jones in a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions joined the Trump administration as attorney general.
Graham, R-Seneca, tweeted Monday the Alabama race will “not end well for Mr. Moore” if he stays in the contest, the same day another woman publicly came forward with allegations against Moore.
“In light of the most recent allegations and the cumulative effect of others, I believe #RoyMoore would be doing himself, the state, the GOP, and the country a service by stepping aside,” Graham wrote.
Scott, R-North Charleston, separately called for Moore to go Monday at a breakfast in Charleston.
“If the allegations are true, he needs to step aside and we should move forward,” Scott said, according to the Post and Courier. “In my opinion, the accusations are stronger than the denial. It’s a horrible situation, obviously.”
Graham and Scott were just the latest Republicans abandoning Moore’s Senate bid. GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also said Monday that he “believes the women,” urging Moore to drop out.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, suggested even if Moore wins the Dec. 12 election, the Senate might vote to expel him.