BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones drew a line between himself and Republican nominee Roy Moore on Wednesday as he sided with women making sexual misconduct allegations against men of both parties.
Sen. Al Franken should resign after being accused of sexual improprieties by multiple women, Jones said in response to a reporter's question, and women accusing Moore of misconduct decades ago likewise deserve to be believed, despite Moore's denials.
"I applaud the women who have come forward against Roy Moore. And I think it's time that those women be believed, just like the women who are coming out against Senator Franken, Representative (John) Conyers and others," said Jones.
Jones made the comments at a downtown storefront where volunteers were making get-out-the-vote calls head of Tuesday's election. Jones briefly spoke with a female supporter during one of the calls.
Jones also scheduled an evening appearance with former Alabama first lady Marsha Folsom and Lilly Ledbetter, the Alabama woman who is the namesake of an equal-pay law signed by former President Barack Obama.
Winning the support of a substantial number of women could be crucial to Jones' chances in Alabama, a deeply conservative state controlled by Republicans and influenced by Christian conservatives who support Moore, who made his name placing Ten Commandments displays in courthouses.
While the allegations against Moore have prompted some Republicans to break ranks, Gov. Kay Ivey has said she is voting for the GOP nominee.
Jones also has a hard time winning over conservatives who dislike his positions on social issues including abortion, and who believe Moore's denials that he molested young women decades ago, and tried to date teen girls while he was a prosecutor in his 30s.
"What girl hasn't been kissed at 17 years old?" asked Diane Myrick, 69, of Bon Secour at a Moore really in southwest Alabama Tuesday night. "I know a girl who got married at 14."
But Susan Taylor of Fairhope, who participated in a protest outside the rally, said Moore represents neither the state nor Christianity well.
"I think he's a misogynist. I think he's crazy," Taylor said.
Moore, 70, faces multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including accusations he sexually assaulted two teenage girls and pursued romantic relationships with several other teenagers.
Moore has denied sexual assault and molesting underage girls, but has been unclear on whether he dated teens as a man in his 30s.
The Moore campaign issued a statement demanding that a political group, Highway 31, quit running a commercial that includes what it calls "patently false" claims about the accusations.
A spokesman for the super PAC, Adam Muhlendorf, said Moore's campaign hasn't provided proof the accusations are false.
Associated Press writer Kim Chandler in Fairhope, Alabama, contributed to this report.