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Roy Moore turns refusal to concede into religious crusade: ‘Immorality sweeps over the land’

Republican candidate Roy Moore issued a new campaign statement on Dec. 13 refusing to concede the Alabama election until all votes are counted. (Video: Roy Moore)

A day after losing the Senate race in Alabama to Democrat Doug Jones, Republican candidate Roy Moore has issued a new statement refusing to concede the election until completion of the final count. But it wasn’t your typical post-election statement.

It was a four-minute fire-and-brimstone video about abortion, same-sex marriage, school prayer, sodomy and “the right of a man to claim to be a woman and vice versa.”

“We are indeed in a struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization and our religion and to set free a suffering humanity,” Moore said. “Today, we no longer recognize the universal truth that God is the author of our life and liberty. Abortion, sodomy and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

In the video issued by the campaign Wednesday evening, Moore said his campaign is still waiting for the official vote count from Alabama officials. He did not say he would necessarily seek a recount, for which his campaign would have to pay unless the margin turned out to be within half a percentage point. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has called it “highly unlikely” that Jones would not be certified as the winner.

Doug Jones defeats Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate seat from Alabama

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama speaks to his election-night party in Montgomery after losing the special vote. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Moore, in his statement, framed the election as not just a political contest but also a dire ideological battle for “the heart and soul of our country.”

“In this race,” he said, returning to more mundane matters, “we have not received the final count to include military and provisional ballots,” he said. “This has been a very close race, and we are awaiting certification by the secretary of state.”

On Tuesday, Alabama voters elected Jones with 50 percent of the vote to Moore’s 48 percent in a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The margin between the final votes was larger than the required 0.5 percentage point for an automatic recount in Alabama. Moore was widely expected to win the race — until allegations of sexual misconduct emerged in reports from The Washington Post. A Democrat has not held a U.S. Senate seat from Alabama since 1997, when Howell Heflin left office after deciding not to run for reelection.

On NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday, Jones offered a blunt message to his former rival: “It’s time to move on.”

Democrat Doug Jones on Dec. 12 defeated Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s U.S. Senate special election. Moore refused to concede defeat. (Video: Alice Li, Jordan Frasier, Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

“We have stopped prayer in our schools,” Moore said in his statement. “We have killed over 60 million of our unborn children. We have redefined marriage and destroyed the basis of family, which is the building block of our country. Our borders are not secure. Our economy is faltering under an enormous national debt. We have a huge drug problem. We have even begun to recognize the right of a man to claim to be a woman, and vice versa. We have allowed judges and justices to rule over our Constitution, and we have become slaves to their tyranny. Immorality sweeps over our land.”

Moore briefly nodded to the allegations of sexual misconduct — allegations he has denied — in his message to supporters. “Even our political process has been affected with baseless and false allegations, which have become more relevant than the issues which affect our country,” Moore said. “This election was tainted by over $50 million from outside groups who want to retain power and their corrupt ideology.”

The Republican defeat in a deep-red state was seen in part as a loss for President Trump, who, after backing Moore’s primary opponent, put his support behind the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. Moore, backed by close Trump ally Stephen K. Bannon, said in his statement that Trump’s election opened “a window of hope and an opportunity that we could return to our founding principles.”

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