Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event on Dec. 5, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
By Jamie Ducharme
December 8, 2017

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is facing more heavy criticism on Twitter — for more than just the sexual misconduct allegations against him that have dominated headlines for weeks.

A comment Moore made at a Florence, Ala., rally in September resurfaced Thursday and struck a chord with many users on the social networking site, including African-American celebrities and politicians. At the rally, an African-American audience member asked Moore when America was last “great,” the Los Angeles Times reported in September. Moore responded in a way that appeared to condone, or at least downplay the impact of, slavery, the Times reported.

“I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction,” Moore said, according to the Times.

Months later, the comment has sparked intense backlash online, prompting everyone from New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker to actress Gabrielle Union to speak out.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on Friday morning tweeted his support for the former judge, writing, “VOTE ROY MOORE!”

Write to Jamie Ducharme at jamie.ducharme@time.com.

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