MADISON, Wis. — Amid revelations that Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama Roy Moore had inappropriate sexual relationships with multiple teen girls, the Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell called for him to “step aside.” Meanwhile in an interview broadcast on Sunday, Gov. Scott Walker, joined those offering aid and comfort to Moore by falling back on the “if it’s true” refrain.
“This is a complete failure of leadership by Scott Walker,” commented One Wisconsin Now Research Director Joanna Beilman-Dulin. “Actual victims of actual abuse have come forward and courageously told their story about how a powerful man preyed on them. And instead of denouncing this predator and his despicable behavior Scott Walker gives him aid and comfort with his ‘if it’s true’ talking points.”
According to an Associated Press report today on the comments of Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell:
“The top Republican in the Senate said Monday GOP candidate Roy Moore should quit his Alabama race amid allegations he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued romantic relationships with other teenage girls decades ago. “I believe the women,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”
Walker, when asked about the reporting on Moore’s abuse of young women and if he should end his candidacy, responded not by denouncing the despicable actions of his fellow Republican but instead questioning the veracity of the victims, saying, “if it’s true.” He went on to offer a bizarre analogy to rumors about himself prior to his 2012 recall election as a reason not to put stock in issues brought up late in political campaigns.
Late last week U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, who has own history of failure on issues of sexual abuse, offered similar aid and comfort to Roy Moore.
Beilman-Dulin concluded, “Gov. Walker’s response is a textbook example of why it is so hard for women to come forward to tell their stories of abuse, and why so often the perpetrators get away with it. His answer was a cop-out, and it dehumanizes these women. He’s shown us that he is focused on preserving political power, rather than believing women.”
One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.