Romney on Moore: Guilty Until Proven Innocent in Politics

Former Mass. Gov. considers running for Hatch seat

Mitt Romney talks with media after Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was sworn in on the House floor as the 54th Speaker of the House, October 29, 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore should step aside in light of reports he initiated sexual relations with teenage girls.

Romney’s denouncement comes as he is considering a run to replace Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch if Hatch chooses not to run for re-election.

The former Massachusetts governor tweeted “innocent until proven guilty is for criminal convictions, not elections.”

Romney’s words were much stronger than Hatch’s, who said he “hoped it’s not true” when first asked about it. Hatch’s office later told the Salt Lake Tribune that if it was true, that Moore should “step aside immediately.”

Romney, who was the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, also said he believed Leigh Corfman, the woman cited by the Washington Post who said Moore initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14.

Most Senate Republicans took a similar route to Hatch, saying Moore should leave if the allegations were true

Fellow former Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain joined Romney in a more forceful call for Moore to step aside.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee who bested Romney, said Moore “he should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”

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