Roy Moore to Attend Senate GOP Lunch

Republicans attempt to consolidate support around Alabama Senate candidate

Roy Moore, holding an article about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the U.S. Senate candidate forum held by the Shelby County Republican Party. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Roy Moore will attend the weekly Senate Republican luncheon Tuesday, a GOP source confirmed, as the party looks to unify around its candidate in the upcoming Alabama Senate race.

Moore will face former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 election to fill the seat vacated by former Sen. Jeff Sessions, now the attorney general. Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was twice removed from the bench for defying federal orders. 

The former judge railed against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders during the primary campaign. GOP leadership as well as President Donald Trump backed Moore’s opponent in the primary, Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the seat in February.

But Moore’s attendance at the weekly lunch, first reported by the New York Times, could signal that Senate Republicans are attempting to unite around their nominee after a bitter primary. Senate candidates occasionally attend the lunches. 

The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with McConnell, which spent millions against Moore in the primary, released a poll Tuesday that showed Moore with a sizable lead over Jones, 56 percent to 39 percent. 

“This poll confirms that Roy Moore has consolidated Republican support in the state and is on track to be Alabama’s next Senator,” fund president Steven Law said. “Our survey also shows strong enthusiasm for President Trump, and that Trump voters are now resoundingly Moore voters.”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn recently endorsed Moore, leading to The Dallas Morning News to blast the Texas Republican’s endorsement as a “new low.”

Moore has made a slew of controversial statements in the past, including saying that homosexuality should be illegal, Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison, a Muslim, should not be allowed to serve in Congress, and former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Moore said Monday that the federal judge who blocked enforcement of a White House policy banning transgender members of the military should be impeached. He said the ruling was “absolutely ridiculous and a perfect example of the outlandish doctrine of judicial supremacy.”

Vice President Mike Pence, who campaigned for Strange, regularly attends the GOP lunch and is also expected to attend Tuesday.

Joseph P. Williams contributed to this report.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.