Cruz: Senate Should Seat Moore If He Wins, Franken Allegations ‘Serious’

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Thursday that while the allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) are “serious,” he would still insist on seating Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore if he wins his election, despite Moore also being accused of sexual misconduct.

“Roy Moore is now leading in the polls again in Alabama,” Fox News’ Neil Cavuto told Cruz in an interview. “He could win that race. Mitch McConnell has said he would not be welcome in the United States Senate.  Do you think he should be thrown out if he is?”

“Of course not,” Cruz replied. “And I think we’ve got to respect the will of the voters. I think the reaction would be — I think it’d be completely unacceptable. If the voters of Alabama choose to elect him, for some Washington politicians to say, ‘We don’t care what the voters say,’ I think that would be a mistake. This is an issue that the voters have in front of them, and they’ll make a decision. I think we need to respect the will of the voters.”

Several top Republicans, including the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), have said Moore should be expelled from the Senate if he wins his election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in November that Moore “would immediately be in a process before the Senate Ethics Committee,” if he were sworn in.

Several women have accused Moore of pursuing romantic and sexual relationships with them when they were teenagers, and he was a grown man. Beverly Young Nelson has accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16. Leigh Corfman has said Moore initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14.

“What about Al Franken?” Cavuto went on. The senator has been accused by several women of unwanted groping, and by two women of kissing them without their consent. “He’s apologized, says he’s not leaving. What do you think of that?” Cavuto said.

“You know what? These allegations are serious and they keep coming up, every day more and more and more allegations,” Cruz said. “And I will say, there’s a rich irony watching all of the Democrats backpedalling and trying to justify, now, their colleague, who you’ve got — I think the count is five women who allege groping. That’s a serious, serious problem and I think it’s something that we’re going to see debated quite a bit more.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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