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- The White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, encouraged Alabama voters to cast their ballots for Roy Moore, the US Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls.
- Conway argued that a vote against Moore would be a vote against the Republican agenda, including proposed tax cuts.
- The exchange with the conservative hosts on “Fox & Friends,” who have suggested they think Moore is unfit for office, was unusually tense.
The White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway, indirectly endorsed Roy Moore, the US Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, during a tense interview on the conservative morning show “Fox & Friends” on Monday.
During a conversation about the Republicans’ tax plan, Conway pivoted to Alabama’s December special election, telling viewers that Doug Jones, the Democrat running against Moore, “will be a vote against tax cuts” and that he was “weak on crime” and immigration and “terrible for property owners.”
“Doug Jones is a doctrinaire liberal,” Conway said, adding that “the media wants to boost him” because of his progressive political orientation.
To that, the cohost Brian Kilmeade asked, “So, vote Roy Moore?”
Conway didn’t respond directly, instead arguing that a vote for Jones would be a vote against the tax plan.
“I’m telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through,” she said.
Conway then turned again to her critique of the media, suggesting that the press, which she equated with Democrats, wasn’t actually concerned about the allegations against Moore because, she argued, the media hadn’t called on Sen. Al Franken, who was recently accused of sexual misconduct, to resign.
She added that Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, returned to the Senate last week after avoiding corruption charges in a mistrial.
But Kilmeade persisted.
“The RNC has withdrawn support for Roy Moore. Mitch McConnell has withdrawn support,” Kilmeade said.
“And a lot of women,” the cohost Ainsley Earhardt added.
Conway, seemingly frustrated with the line of questioning from usually sympathetic hosts, again pivoted to Jones.
“And you know what? I just want everybody to know Doug Jones, nobody ever says his name and pretends he is some kind of conservative Democrat in Alabama,” Conway said. “And he’s not.”
The White House’s message on Moore’s candidacy has shifted since last week, when, in another interview on “Fox & Friends,” Conway said Alabama voters would make the decision for themselves.
“Whatever the facts end up being, the premises, of course, the principle, the incontrovertible principle, is that there is no Senate seat worth more than a child,” she said. “And we all want to put that forward.”