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Roy Moore: America Was 'Great' During 'Slavery'

Newsweek logo Newsweek 12/8/2017 John Haltiwanger

Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate under fire for alleged sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, apparently believes America was a better place when slavery was still a thing.: 12_07_Roy_Moore_slavery © Getty Images 12_07_Roy_Moore_slavery Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate under fire for alleged sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s, apparently believes America was a better place when slavery was still legal.

At a campaign event earlier this year, an audience member asked Moore for his opinion on when the last time America was "great." Moore responded: "I think it was great at the time when families were united—even though we had slavery—they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction." The individual who asked the question was among the only African-Americans in attendance at the rally. In stating this, Moore seemingly implied he'd be able to overlook the enslavement of other human beings as long as families are "united," an interesting perspective from a man accused of repeatedly preying on young girls. 

Moore's remarks were featured in an article from the Los Angeles Times in September but resurfaced Thursday in a viral tweet from Eric Columbus, a former Obama administration official. "Can't make this up—Roy Moore said in September that the last time America was great was when we had slavery," Columbus tweeted.

Moore's comments at the rally bring to mind President Donald Trump's slogan, "Make America Great Again," which many have interpreted as a rallying cry to incite white nationalists. Trump has controversially endorsed Moore, despite widespread condemnation and the damning allegations the Senate candidate faces. Trump reportedly said "Go get ‘em, Roy!" during a recent phone call with the candidate. 

A recent Big League-Gravis poll gave Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones (who isn't accused of sexually assaulting teenage girls), a slight edge over the Republican. The poll of 1,276 likely voters showed Jones leading Moore 48 percent to 44 percent. The election is on December 12. 

On December 4, Trump tweeted, "Putting Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet Jones into office in Alabama would hurt our great Republican Agenda of low on taxes, tough on crime, strong on military and borders...& so much more. Look at your 401-k’s since Election. Highest Stock Market EVER! Jobs are roaring back!" Indeed, Trump apparently believes a man who was reportedly banned from an Alabama mall for harassing teenage girls would be "tough on crime" and is urging voters to support him. 

Beyond his views on slavery and allegations of sexual misconduct, Moore also has referred to Native Americans as "reds and yellows," has questioned former President Barack Obama's place of birth (following Trump's example) and once suggested Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress. In spite of all this, Moore still seems to have a shot of becoming a United States senator. 

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