All Americans Should Take Notes On Mitt Romney's Response To Roy Moore's Sexual Assault Allegations

Let's follow Romney's lead.

Mitt Romney is reminding the country how to handle allegations of sexual assault.

The former Republican governor and past nominee for president of the United States spoke out on Twitter about accusations that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, while in his 30s, allegedly made sexual and romantic advances towards several teenagers, including a 14-year-old girl.



"Innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections," Romney wrote. "I believe Leigh Corfman. Her account is too serious to ignore. Moore is unfit for office and should step aside."

Incredibly, Romney's comments stood out amongst his fellow Republicans. Most responded to the bombshell Washington Post report, which cited 30 sources, four women on record (some of whom were Donald Trump-voting Republicans), by hedging. "If the allegations are true," they said in near unison, "Moore should step down." 

The qualifier did not go unnoticed. Who would determine if the allegations were true? What more do you need after a well-sourced, thoroughly reported article from a reputable newspaper? How long until you decide whether the allegations are true?

To further the credibility of the allegations, the Wall Street Journal reached out to the alleged victims and found that the story they told to the Wall Street Journal was identical to what was reported in The Washington Post.

Nevertheless, supporters of Moore did their best to brush the allegations aside. Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler cited the Bible: "Take Joseph and Mary," Ziegler said. "Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus."

Breitbart editor Joel Pollak said that — because the age of consent was 16-years-old in Alabama — the 17-year-old and 18-year-old shouldn't have appeared in the story. Mike Cernovich, who helped spread the Pizzagate conspiracy that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton was running a child trafficking ring out of a Washington D.C. pizza shop, expressed skepticism at the report. The conservative news outlet The Gateway Pundit ran a story about how the age of consent in Alabama was 12 years old in 1979, making sexual advances on a child somehow less offensive. Fox News anchor Sean Hannity insisted that at least some of the relationships were consensual on his radio show, then apologized and said he was not referring to the 14-year-old girl. 

And so it was Mitt Romney, a Republican politician who has faded into relative obscurity, that had to bring moral clarity to his party. His words were both profound and resoundingly accurate. These allegations do not require a judge and jury to act — Roy Moore is a candidate for one of the highest offices in the United States. As Americans, we don't need to wait for a court of law to declare him guilty. To case our ballots, we need to make judgements of our own, and the clock for Alabama voters is ticking. 

The reports in The Washington Post are damning, and they come from a group of women who have no political motivations to damage Moore's career. But they also add to a mounting pile of evidence that Moore is unfit for the Senate: he has said Muslims shouldn't serve in Congress, suggested homosexuality should be illegal, and twice in his career as a judge was removed from the bench for ignoring the rule of law.  

This latest revelation about Moore requires decisive judgment and no ambiguity, and Republicans — and all Americans — should be echoing Romney's sentiment: Roy Moore is unfit for office and should step aside.

For more political commentary, you can follow @Ike_Saul on Twitter

Cover photo: Reuters / Lucas Jackson

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