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Republican Mike Coffman: The ‘absolute last thing Washington needs’ is ‘morally bankrupt’ Roy Moore

Author: Ernest Luning - December 12, 2017 - Updated: December 12, 2017

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U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican, and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, an Alabama Republican (Coffman: Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics; Moore: Brynn Anderson/AP)
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican, and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, an Alabama Republican (Coffman: Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics; Moore: Brynn Anderson/AP)

As Alabama voters prepared to head to the polls Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican, denounced Roy Moore, the state’s Republican U.S. Senate nominee, as “morally bankrupt” and called a Moore win “the absolute last thing Washington needs.”

The 70-year-old Moore, who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal law, faces accusations of child molestation and sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s. He’s running in a special election against Democrat Doug Jones, 63, the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted two Ku Klux Klansmen who killed four black girls in a 1963 church bombing. Polls show the race could be a toss-up in a state that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate in 27 years.

“Can anyone, under any scenario, imagine Ronald Reagan or Teddy Roosevelt or General Eisenhower endorsing someone as morally bankrupt as Roy Moore?” Coffman asked in a tweet. “In this divided, dysfunctional, and ugly period in our history, the absolute last thing Washington needs is someone like Roy Moore.”

Moore has denied the allegations against him and said the women who have made the accusations are lying. At last count, eight women, including six who were underage at the time, have said Moore acted improperly with them.

It isn’t the first time Coffman, who is serving his fifth term in Congress, has rejected the Republican in a nationally prominent race. Last year, after distancing himself from Donald Trump for most of the year, Coffman called on the GOP presidential nominee to “step aside” after a video surfaced of Trump making lewd remarks and bragging about sexually assaulting women. Coffman said later he wrote in vice presidential nominee Mike Pence’s name on the ballot rather than vote for Trump.

Cory Gardner, Colorado’s Republican U.S. senator and chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, endorsed Moore after he won the GOP primary in September but pulled his support after allegations emerged Moore molested a 14-year-old girl and pursued romantic relationships with teenagers when he was twice their age.

Calling Moore “unfit to serve in the United States Senate,” Gardner said the Senate should expel Moore if he wins Tuesday’s election. Last week, Gardner reaffirmed the NRSC’s opposition to Moore, in stark contrast to Trump’s wholehearted support for Moore and the Republican National Committee’s revived support for the candidate after initially cutting ties with Moore in November.

Polls close in the Alabama special election at 6 p.m. Mountain Time.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.