Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she’s disappointed that the Republican National Committee has resumed its financial backing of Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who faces multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.
Collins’ comments on a national public affairs program Sunday come as other Republicans are also protesting the RNC’s reversal of its previous decision to halt its support of Moore, who faces allegations of sexual misconduct and for pursuing young girls, one as young as age 14.
At one point the RNC had said it believed Moore’s accusers. But now it’s spending money on his behalf.
“I’m disappointed that the RNC has resumed its support of Roy Moore. I think that’s a mistake,” Collins said.
Collins’ remarks on Face the Nation came the same day that Alabama’s senior Sen. Richard Shelby said he won’t vote for Moore. He told CNN that he supported a Republican write-in candidate instead.
Shelby said he understands why Republicans would want to continue to hold the seat in the Senate, but he said the accusations against Moore were a tipping point.
“When it got to the 14-year-old’s story, that was enough for me. I said I can’t vote for Roy Moore,” he said.
And on Monday, the news site Politico reported that Nebraska Republican National Committeewoman Joyce Simmons resigned in protest over the RNC’s decision to resume backing Moore after President Donald Trump’s recent endorsement. In her resignation letter, Simmons said she agreed with Shelby and wished that she could continue serving “the Republican party that I used to know well.”
For her part, Collins has been opposed to Moore’s candidacy from the get-go. She has expressed disapproval of his comments against Muslims and the LGBT community, and she doesn’t like that he was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court — once for refusing a court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from outside the state’s judicial building, and another for flouting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision affirming gay marriage.
But Collins and other Republicans’ objections could be put to the test if Alabama voters elect Moore during Tuesday’s special election.
Collins last week called for the resignation of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken over sexual misconduct allegations, but on Sunday tried to make A distinction between the Franken and the Moore allegations.
“If the allegations are known prior to the election, which they weren’t in the case of Al Franken, for example, then we have a very tough decision to make about whether it’s our role as senators to overturn the will of the people,” she said.
It’s unclear whether that means Collins would oppose expelling Moore if an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee validates the claims of his accusers. Collins has previously said that such a probe is likely if Moore wins on Tuesday.
This story was originally published Dec. 11, 2017 at 5:28 p.m. ET.