Republican politicians scrambled into damage control mode after
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Roy Moore, the
Republican nominee for Alabama senator, initiated a sexual
encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 and pursued
relationships with three other teenage girls.
But at least two members of the GOP are standing firmly by
Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler called the claims in The Post
report “much ado about nothing,” even if they are true.
“The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage
girls,” Zeigler told
The Washington Examiner. “Even the Washington Post report
says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls
and never attempted sexual intercourse.”
Zeigler then compared Moore’s alleged actions to those of
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah
was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents
of John the Baptist,” Zeigler told The Examiner. “Also take
Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult
carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
“There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Zeigler said.
“Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
According to The Post report, a woman named Leigh Corfman said
that in 1979, Moore, then a 32-year-old district attorney,
approached her in an Alabama courtroom and got her number. He
later called the 14-year-old and drove her to his house, where,
according to the report, he removed her clothes and touched her
through her bra and underwear. Corfman also said that, in one
interaction, Moore gave her alcohol.
Moore denied the allegations, calling them “fake news.”
Since the report’s publication, more than a dozen Republican
lawmakers have called on Moore to
drop out of his Senate race, including Senate Majority Leader
The special election between Moore and Democrat Doug Jones is
scheduled for December 12.
Another Alabama lawmaker, Marion County GOP chairman David Hall,
joined Zeigler in dismissing the claims in The Post’s report.
“It was 40 years ago,” Hall
told Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale. “I really don’t see
the relevance of it. He was 32. She was supposedly 14. She’s not
saying that anything happened other than they kissed.”
Hall also dismissed the accounts of three other women included in
The Post’s report, who told the newspaper that Moore had pursued
relationships with them as teenagers between the ages of 16 and
18. The women said Moore did not engage in sexual conduct with
“The other women that they’re using to corroborate: number one,
one was 19, one was 17, one was 16. There’s nothing wrong with a
30-year-old single male asking a 19-year-old, a 17-year-old, or a
16-year-old out on a date,” Hall said.
And another state politician, Bibb County GOP chairman Jerry Pow,
Dale that although he didn’t support Moore’s alleged actions,
he would still vote for him.
“I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn’t want to vote for
Doug,” Pow said. “I’m not saying I support what he did.”