In less than 48 hours, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has given us two big reasons to despise him.
The first happened early Saturday morning, when McConnell helped spearhead the greatest legislative swindle on the American public in recent memory—the Republican tax overhaul. The next day, McConnell flip–flopped his position on Roy Moore’s Senate bid in the upcoming Dec. 12 special election in Alabama.
The Republican senator from Kentucky apparently no longer feels the need to speak out against the possibility of an accused child molester becoming a U.S. senator.
Less than three weeks ago, McConnell had called on the former judge—who several women accused of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s—to drop out of the race.
“I think he should step aside,” McConnell said about Moore during a press conference in Louisville, The Hill reported at the time. “I believe the women.”
Those comments followed a report by The Washington Post that included the accounts of four women who accused Moore of sexual misconduct, including Leigh Corfman, who says she was 14 at the time. Since then, several other women have come forward to accuse Moore of similar behavior. Moore denies the allegations and blames them on a conspiracy against him by the media, LGBTQ groups, and socialists.
But on Sunday, McConnell told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he is “going to let the people of Alabama make the call” after Stephanopoulos asked him point–blank if he believed that Moore should be in the Senate.
“This election’s been going on a long time, there’s been a lot of discussion about it, they’re gonna make their decision a week from Tuesday,” McConnell said.
He also would not commit to working to remove Moore from the Senate should he be elected, deferring instead to the Senate Ethics Committee.
“The Ethics Committee will have to consider the matters that have been litigated in the campaign should that particular candidate win,” he said.
So why the abrupt turnaround just a day after Republican senators passed a massive tax gift to the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations? Perhaps McConnell was embarrassed by a recent Moore ad that lumped him in with Democratic lawmakers Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and inexplicably portrayed him with a glowing golden crown atop his head. Or, maybe it had something to do with a new CBS poll that found that 71% of AL Republicans believe the allegations against Moore are false, made up by the media.
According to The Hill, McConnell’s shift happened after President Donald Trump, who also is accused of sexually predatory behavior, decided to back Moore in his run for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacant Senate seat.
Trump will campaign for Moore next Friday in Pensacola, FL, which is 25 miles from the AL border. That announcement came less than a week after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the president wouldn’t go to Alabama because, “Frankly, his schedule doesn’t permit him doing anything between now and Election Day.”