President goes all-in on alleged child predator ahead of evening rally

Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, right, is welcomed to the stage on Dec. 5 by Steve Bannon, a former White House chief strategist. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Friday issued an emphatic endorsement of accused child predator Roy Moore, diving back into a special Alabama Senate race just a few days before voters there head to the polls.

“VOTE ROY MOORE!” the president tweeted eight hours before a much-anticipated campaign rally in nearby Pensacola, Florida, which bleeds into the southern Alabama television market.

Trump used the social media post to again attack Democratic candidate Doug Jones’ record on crime, abortion, immigration, the Second Amendment and the military. Jones, a former U.S. attorney, prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan members responsible for the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham that killed four children.

The GOP president also said it was better to have someone like Moore as a GOP senator than Jones.  The “LAST thing the Make America Great Again Agenda needs is a Liberal Democrat in Senate where we have so little margin for victory already.” And he again labeled Moore a “Pelosi/Schumer Puppet” who would, if elected, “vote against us 100% of the time.”

Trump’s Friday tweet came after a pair on Monday that, up to that point, amounted to his clearest endorsement of the former judge who has been accused of molesting several teen girls and acting inappropriately to others.

Trump’s tweet and evening campaign rally put him back at the center of the race as RealClearPolitics’ average of several polls puts Moore ahead 2.3 percentage points. Voters will decide the contest on Tuesday.

Watch: In Alabama Race, Jones Has Funding, Moore Has Trump, Bannon Support

On Monday, Trump’s tweets made clear that, to him, keeping the seat in Republican hands is more important to the president than the sexual misconduct charges against the former judge. (It was vacated when longtime Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions became attorney general.)

The president used his pair of tweets to start the work week to urge Alabama voters to send Moore to the Senate in next Tuesday’s special election, writing that Democrats’ blanket opposition to the just-passed Senate Republican tax cut bill shows Moore’s vote is necessary. He added that Moore would side with him and Republican on a list of policy issues that are important to GOP voters.

Given the timing, Friday’s tweets serve as a commercials for the former reality television figure’s rally in Pensacola on Friday evening at 8 p.m. 

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