After flirting with the idea for weeks, the country’s Leading Republican endorsed the Republican nominee in Alabama's Senate race.
“We need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” President Trump declared in an early-morning tweet.
Trump pointed to Moore’s commitment to the GOP platform as his reason for backing the former Alabama Supreme Court justice, who is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers when he was in his 30s.
The move was hardly a surprising one for Trump, who is facing more than a dozen sexual misconduct allegations himself, considering the number of times Trump defended Moore or attacked Moore's Democratic opponent, former U.S. attorney Doug Jones, in recent weeks.
But it is a reminder to some Americans that Trump’s vision of what can make this country great does not appear to include the political concerns of people outside the president’s base.
When Trump says “we” need Moore, here’s a look at who “we” appears not to include:
• The editorial board of Alabama’s three leading papers, which have reported on Moore’s political career for more than 15 years. The board wrote:
“To be clear: it's not only his record on women and children that disqualifies Moore. If we vote for Roy Moore, Alabama will also show that we don't care about you if you're gay or Muslim or Catholic. If you're an atheist or an immigrant. We'll show each other that we only care about Roy Moore's definition of Alabama. And that there's not room for the rest of us.”
• LGBT Americans, whom Moore has accused of trying to destroy American culture. Eva Kendrick, Alabama state director for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, previously said:
“Given Roy Moore’s track record of flouting laws and attacking the civil rights of LGBTQ people across our state, we already know he won’t stand up for all Alabamians when it matters most. In the run-up to December 12, we urge every fair-minded person across Alabama to say #NoMoore and reject the politics of bigotry and hate.”
• Women, who the latest Washington Post-Schar School poll shows are more likely to vote against Moore:
“Women are more likely than men to find the allegations credible and to support Jones, with 41 percent of women saying Moore made unwanted advances compared with 28 percent of men saying the same. Moore leads by 15 points among men likely to vote, while Jones leads by 18 points among likely female voters.”
• Black voters, who overwhelmingly support Jones, who successfully prosecuted two members of the Ku Klux Klan for the notorious 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church that killed four black girls. Polls show Jones receiving more than 90 percent of the black vote.
Rylan Pendelton, the youth and college president for the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, told the Fix:
“It’s about an inclusive society. We can all fit here, live here, and we can all make a difference. I am not for a society where one race benefits. If we want to make America great, shouldn’t we all contribute to and benefit from that?”
• And white Christians who aren’t evangelical. Moore, like Trump, has the support of white evangelicals, arguably the most influential religious block in Republican politics. But most white Christians say they don’t support Moore, despite him pledging to bring Christian principles to Capitol Hill, a place where the majority of lawmakers identify as Christian.
Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, wrote:
“If Roy Moore did what he is accused of, he should be out of this race and face the consequences.”
In his inauguration speech, Trump pledged to unite a terribly divided country — something many Americans say he has failed to do and perhaps has even made worse. Endorsing a candidate like Moore who has made comments, allegedly behaved and/or proposed policies considered harmful to people of color, women and girls, LGBT people, immigrants, Muslims and working-class Americans appears to be anything but unifying to many voters. For Trump, critics say, “we” doesn’t mean all of America. It simply means those on the Trump train.