Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday evening pulled his endorsement of Roy Moore over allegations that Moore pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls, but Cruz did not call outright for the Republican Alabama Senate candidate to drop out of the race.
“I am not able to urge the people of Alabama to support his candidacy so long as these allegations remain un-refuted,” Cruz told reporters, according to the Texas Tribune.
The Texas senator said that Moore should drop out if the allegations lodged against him are true, avoiding an unequivocal call for Moore to leave the race.
“One of two things should happen: If these allegations are true, Judge Moore should drop out now. Today,” he told reporters, per the Texas Tribune. “The people of Alabama deserve to have the option of voting for a strong conservative who has not committed criminal conduct. Or two, if these allegations are not true, then Judge Moore needs to come forward with a strong, persuasive rebuttal demonstrating that they are untrue.”
“Both last week and this week, there are serious charges of criminal conduct that if true, not only make him unfit to serve in the Senate but merit criminal prosecution,” Cruz added. “Judge Moore, like any American, is entitled to present a defense. He’s entitled to put forth the facts demonstrating that the charges are not true, but as it stands, I can’t urge the people of Alabama to support a campaign in the face of these charges without serious, persuasive demonstration that the charges are not true.”
The Texas senator was particularly concerned by the revelation from a new accuser on Monday that Moore had signed her high school yearbook.
Cruz’s colleague Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) pulled his endorsement of Moore on Monday as well, but also stopped short of calling on Moore to leave the race.
Several Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have unequivocally called on Moore to leave the race.