The night before Roy Moore faced Alabama voters in one of the most watched U.S. Senate campaigns in history, the twice-ousted state Supreme Court judge had one last campaign rally. And it was as wild as the entire campaign has been.
It included a story about Moore stumbling into a brothel in Vietnam with “very young girls,” Moore’s wife Kayla saying that “one of our attorneys is a Jew” to combat claims he is biased and former White House chief of strategist Steve Bannon taking a possible swipe at First Daughter Ivanka Trump.
Monday night’s campaign event in a barn in Midland City, Alabama, was Moore’s final push for votes as he challenges Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore, 70, turned the rally into an attack on the news media and national politics as he faces multiple accusations from women who say he made sexual advances on them while they were teenage girls and he was in his 30s. Moore has denied all claims of wrongdoing. Though Republicans initially warned Moore to step down if the allegations were “true,” President Donald Trump endorsed him last week, and the Republican National Committee later continued their support after previously rescinding it in November.
Earlier on Monday, the American First Project, a pro-Trump political action committee, published a video of a 12-year-old girl interviewing the U.S. Senate candidate. Some political commentators called the video “shocking” — noting that one of Moore’s accusers said he pursued her when she was 14 years old.
Polls show Moore and Jones are neck-and-neck, though one recent Fox News survey found Jones in the lead.
Here are some of the most-attention grabbing moments from Moore’s rally Monday:
Kayla Moore defends husband’s relationship with Jewish and black voters
Blaming “fake news,” Kayla Moore defended her husband’s comments and actions toward the Jewish and black communities.
“Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews,” she said. “And I tell you all this because I’ve seen it and I just want to set the record straight while they’re here. One of our attorneys is a Jew. We have very close friends that are Jewish, and rabbis, and we also fellowship with them.”
Moore’s wife used a similar approach as she said her husband has a good relationship with the black community.
“Fake news would also have you think that my husband doesn’t support the black community,” she said. “Yet my husband appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama Supreme Court, Mr. Willie James. When he first took office as the chief justice many years ago he brought with him three people from Etowah County. Two were black, and one of them is here tonight.”
Earlier this year, Moore blasted George Soros, a Jewish investor, philanthropist and liberal donor, by pointing to his faith. “No matter how much money he’s got, he’s still going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going,” Moore said in an interview with American Family Radio, according to the Huffington Post.
At a September campaign rally, Moore was asked to name the last time America was great. “I think it was great at the time when we were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another,” he replied, according to the Los Angeles Times. “… Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”
A war buddy rehashes Moore’s accidental visit to a brothel
Bill Staehle, a Vietnam war veteran who served with Moore used his introductory speech Monday evening to recount their accidental trip to a brothel in Vietnam.
The men were told they were invited to a “private club,” but it turned out to be a house of prostitution, Staehle said.
“There were certainly pretty girls,” he said. “And they were girls, and they were young. Some were probably very young, I don’t know.”
But, Staehle said, Moore quickly recognized the place for what it was and announced, “We shouldn’t be here, I’m leaving.”
“That was Roy,” he said. “Honorable, disciplined, morally straight and highly principled.”
Steve Bannon’s apparent hit on Ivanka Trump
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, a longtime Moore supporter, attended the rally and made a comment some interpreted as a swipe at Ivanka Trump.
The comment used similar phrasing as one Ivanka Trump made when responding to accusations that Moore sexual harassed and assaulted underage girls.
“There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children,” she told the Associated Press last month. “I’ve yet to see a valid explanation and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts.”