Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, stressed on Thursday morning that Republican Roy Moore lost the Alabama senate and that Republicans must move on despite Moore’s refusal to concede the race.
During an interview on Fox News, host Sandra Smith noted that Moore has yet to concede the race despite Democrat Doug Jones’ decisive margin of victory, and asked Thune if he was relieved that Moore lost. Thune hedged and argued that there was no good outcome before stressing that Moore definitely lost and that Senate Republicans will just have to operate with one fewer member in their caucus.
“I think the message coming out of this, Sandra, is that unelectable candidates don’t normally get elected. And there were issues that we knew, everybody knew, that were going to be problematic. He was going to come in here, if he got elected, under a cloud in an ethics investigation. I’m not happy with the outcome. There were no good outcomes as far as I’m concerned there. I thought the best solution if he had stepped aside and allowed another Republican to run, we would have won that seat,” Thune told Smith.
“So we have to deal now with another Democrat in the Senate, but Roy Moore lost that election. It’s over,” Thune added. “We’ll move on and do the best that we can in the days ahead to continue to move an agenda forward that is good for the American people.”