Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore said Sunday that the election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat is “probably a referendum on the direction of our country.”
In video of the event posted online by One America News Network — one of two media organizations invited to attend, alongside Breitbart News, whose executive chairman, Steve Bannon has campaigned extensively for Moore — the candidate also says Tuesday’s results will reflect God’s will.
“It’s God’s will, what happens, and we’re expecting God to do whatever he does, is the right thing to do,” Moore said.
“It’s probably a referendum on the direction of our country in the future, with regard to President Trump’s agenda, with what he wants to do, and I think he feels that,” Moore added later. “I know that Breitbart and Mr. Bannon feels that, and I don’t understand that, but I’ve been told that by people actually running, or intending to run, up in Oklahoma, Missouri, that area.”
It’s possible Moore was referring to right-wing candidates and potential candidates in those states who plan on challenging incumbent Republican senators; Bannon has made a project of defeating every incumbent Republican in the Senate, except for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Moore defeated establishment Republicans’ choice of Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in the Republican primary, upsetting even President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Strange.
Moore also made a perplexing reference to threats he said his supporters had seen on social media, that they would be prosecuted for voting for him. A spokesperson for Moore did not respond to TPM’s request to clarify the remark.
“This is probably the ugliest, dirtiest campaign I have ever seen,” Moore said. “When they get on social media, and tell you you’re going to be prosecuted if you vote for me — that’s how bad it is. The secretary of state has had to become involved. We have been putting out fires thanks to my campaign team.”
It may have been in reference to one ad, by the anti-Moore super PAC Highway 31, which said “your vote is public record, and your community will know whether or not you stopped Roy Moore.” While an individual’s vote is secret, whether or not they voted in the first place is not. Informing potential voters that their neighbors, for example, could find out whether or not they voted has become a frequently used tactic to encourage voter turnout.
Moore concluded his speech by mentioning Trump, who has endorsed him by name and advocated for his election, most recently in a robocall.
“I share President Trump’s feelings about the fake news that’s going out,” Moore said. “And you just wouldn’t believe how many people from out of state I’ve seen, and they come up– They’re watching this election. It’s just bigger than what we can understand. And why it is, I can’t say.”
Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle noted in his report from the Christmas party that other news outlets had not been invited — just as they have been shut out of the Republican’s campaign for weeks — due to “the fact that the vast majority of the rest of the media is fake news.”
The candidate appeared to be wearing an Army jacket and holding a U.S. Military Academy hat. A source close to Moore’s campaign told TPM’s Cameron Joseph on Sunday that Moore had flown to Philadelphia to watch his son play in the Army-Navy football game Saturday. Moore’s campaign has refused to say whether or not he made the trip.
Moore has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old while he was an assistant district attorney, among a number of other allegations of misconduct and assault. He’s also known for his extreme comments and views, including that families were more cohesive when slavery existed.
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