By Joe Kloc
Roy Moore, a former Alabama chief justice accused of having molested a 14-year-old girl he met outside a child-custody hearing, concluded his special-election campaign for a seat in the US Senate. Moore, who was also accused of having assaulted a 16-year-old girl and who defended himself by saying he had never dated “any girl” without “the permission of the mother,” attempted unsuccessfully to hold a rally in a barn owned by the director of an advocacy center for survivors of child sexual abuse, and then announced a “kid friendly” rally at another barn. A Moore spokesperson told journalists that the campaign wanted to “make it clear that there is a group of non-accusers” who had not alleged that Moore was guilty of sexual assault, and Moore, who was allegedly banned from his local mall and YMCA when he was in his 30s for hitting on teenagers, sat down for an interview with a 12-year-old girl, with whom he discussed his policies on immigration, a consumption tax, free trade, and military readiness. Moore, who once said that America was great during the time of slavery because it “had direction” and on another occasion said that the legalization of gay marriage was “worse” than a nineteenth-century Supreme Court ruling that black people were property, held a final campaign rally at which his wife argued that he was not a racist because he had “many friends who are black” and an attorney who “is a Jew.” A veteran said that he and Moore once went together to a Vietnamese brothel with “very young girls” and Moore did not want to have sex with them, a campaign surrogate said that Moore “probably” thinks being gay should be illegal, and a neo-Nazi praised Moore for having “correctly” quoted Adolf Hitler on a radio show in 2011, on which Moore also said that he wanted to know “what really happened” on 9/11, an event he later suggested was an act of God meant to punish the United States for legalizing abortion. “If you don’t believe in my character, don’t vote for me,” said Moore, who then put on a cowboy hat, mounted a horse named Sassy, galloped to the polls, voted for himself, and lost the election. “Neigh,” said Sassy.