Political News

First on CNN: Bannon-backed group makes six-figure ad buy in last-minute push for Moore

Posted November 30, 2017 11:01 a.m. EST

— A political advocacy group aligned with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is making a six-figure ad buy in a last-minute push to rally support for embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

With less than two weeks to go in a volatile special election that has been rocked by allegations of sexual assault against the Republican front-runner, the group, Great America Alliance, is purchasing $150,000 worth of television, radio and digital ads to hit Moore's Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, for his positions on issues like abortion.

The advertising onslaught comes as Moore, 70, faces accusations that he pursued romantic relationships with several women when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, including one who says he touched her inappropriately when she was 14 and another who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 16. The legal age of consent in Alabama is 16. Moore has vehemently denied the allegations; he has refused to take questions from reporters on the allegations since they were first reported by The Washington Post.

Jones supports abortion rights, a position that has put him at odds with Alabama's evangelical voters. One of the commercials that Great America Alliance will run, which the group initially released online, calls Jones' views on abortion "deceptive and dangerous."

"Jones supports abortion, in even the most extreme circumstances, including gruesome late-term and partial-birth abortions that are banned in countries across the world," the ad says.

A second ad will focus on Jones' stance on Supreme Court justices and immigration, and a third is expected advocate other policy issues. The ad buy is timed to start Saturday, and the group says that, if necessary, it is prepared to expand the buy to a half-million dollars.

"Doug Jones is completely out of step with Alabama values on issues like abortion and illegal immigration," Andy Surabian, a senior adviser to the Great America Alliance, told CNN. "Voters deserve to know the disturbing truth about his radical left-wing positions. Alabamians want an America First agenda, and not a Chuck and Nancy-approved liberal Democrat agenda."

At a campaign event in Henagar, Alabama, Moore vowed to "take off the gloves" in the final weeks of his campaign and promised supporters he would attempt to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case if elected.

Bannon supported Moore during the Alabama primary race against the candidate President Donald Trump backed, Sen. Luther Strange, whom Moore beat by 9 points. Bannon has maintained his support for Moore despite the slew of allegations made against him, adding, "Until I see additional evidence on Judge Moore, I'm standing with him."

Trump has all but endorsed Moore as well.

Bannon is expected to have a heavier presence in the state over the next two weeks. He will appear with Moore at a campaign rally Tuesday and is scheduled to record robocalls on his behalf.