INDIANAPOLIS – The scandal surrounding Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore could have ripple effects in Indiana and across the country.
So what are pundits and elected officials here in Indiana saying about the controversy?
Already, many in Congress are suggesting Moore may have to step down from the race after allegations surfaced that he had an inappropriate sexual encounter with a 14-year old girl when Moore was in his 30’s.
“These allegations are extremely disturbing and if it’s true, he should step out of the race immediately,” said Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) in a written statement Thursday when asked for comment before the Vice President’s tax reform event.
“I think he should withdraw from the election,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN). “The facts surrounding what happened in Alabama are pretty clear and I think that would be the best thing to do.”
In the video above, our panel talks about the impact of this week’s allegations, and the overall dynamics at play in Alabama that could also play a role here in Indiana next year.
While Donnelly joined other lawmakers in calling for Roy Moore to step down from the race for Senate in Alabama, two of Donnelly’s potential opponents, Rep. Luke Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita remained quiet on the controversy.
Several weeks ago, when Moore won the Alabama primary, Rokita’s spokesman wrote a memo comparing Moore’s outsider candidacy to the movement Rokita was seeking to lead in the Senate race in Indiana.
While the memo fell short of endorsing Moore outright, it did seem to embrace the movement his candidacy was inspiring:
“The outsider candidate in Alabama tapped into the same anti-elite message that elevated President Trump in the 2016 Republican primary. Looking ahead to 2018, the dynamic is going to be alive and well among Indiana’s primary electorate too.”
After the Moore scandal emerged this past week, a source within the Rokita campaign emphasized that the memo was not about Moore himself, but more broadly the anti-establishment movement which they feel can propel Rokita to victory over Messer and Donnelly here in Indiana.
On this week’s edition of IN Focus, the panel also discusses other key issues:
- The impact of Tuesday’s elections in Virginia, with Democrats now adding IN-09 to their list of target districts for 2018
- The VP’s visit to Indiana to discuss tax reform
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ visit to Indianapolis to meet with the Ten Point Coalition