Texas Senator Ted Cruz has finally broken his silence, in regards to the accusations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
"I am not able to urge the people of Alabama to support his candidacy so long as these allegations remain un-refuted," Cruz said, according to the Texas Tribune. "Both last week and this week, there are serious charges of criminal conduct that if true, not only make him unfit to serve in the Senate but merit criminal prosecution."
Moore denies the charges, but his interview with Sean Hannity wasn’t helpful.
Cruz has held off from making any announcement about his support, but hours after a fifth woman, Beverly Young Nelson, along with celebrity attorney, Gloria Allred gave her tearful account of an encounter with Moore when she was about 16 years old, Cruz could apparently no longer remain quiet.
Cruz added that Alabama faced "an untenable choice," and implored Moore to immediately drop out of the race if the accusations were true.
"The people of Alabama deserve to have the option of voting for a strong conservative who has not committed criminal conduct," he said. "If these allegations are not true, then Judge Moore needs to come forward with a strong, persuasive rebuttal demonstrating that they are untrue."
He’s not wrong.
During the press conference today, Nelson presented her high school yearbook from 1977, when Moore would have been 30 years old.
According to Nelson, Moore was a frequent customer at the diner she worked at after school. He saw her yearbook and took it upon himself to sign it: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.”
This was a week before the alleged attack.
"Grown men don't typically sign high school girls' yearbooks," Cruz continued. "As the father of two young daughters, this is a disquieting allegation, but let me repeat Judge Moore is entitled to present a defense."
And he is, but so far, he’s not really presenting one, especially when residents of Etowah County, Alabama seem to be unified in that his reputation back in the 70s was that of the weird, 30 year old guy that was into high school girls.
UPDATE: I was informed that this was, in fact, NOT the first time Senator Cruz has spoken out about the issue of Roy Moore. On November 9, shortly after the first allegations were raised, Senator Cruz was quoted at statesman.com :
“These are serious and troubling allegations,” he said in a statement to the American-Statesman. “If they are true, Judge Moore should immediately withdraw. However, we need to know the truth, and Judge Moore has the right to respond to these accusations.”
My apologies for missing this earlier statement.