Ivey’s line of logic was remarkably similar to those who acknowledged Trump’s inflammatory comments in October 2016 but said they still planned to support him because of the Supreme Court vacancy that awaited him.
“It is the same sort of moral escape clause,” said Rick Wilson, a “Never Trump” Republican and political consultant who remains highly critical of the president and Moore. “But it’s ultimately rather reductive and at some point what can’t be excused?” Wilson added. “’Well I know he’s a cannibal, but at least he’s not a Democrat’ is the kind of thing that’s going to wear thin outside of the narrow partisan lane Alabama represents.”
In Alabama, though, the parallels to Trump’s own victory don’t stop there. Moore, like the president, is a totem for anti-establishment conservatives such as Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, who has rallied his populist-nationalist political base to Moore’s defense.