Kellyanne Conway on Roy Moore: 'We want the votes' for tax bill
Posted November 20, 2017 10:40 a.m. EST
(CNN) — Kellyanne Conway suggested that the White House remains open to Roy Moore's embattled senate candidacy on Monday when she told Fox & friends that "we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through" -- less than a week after Conway said that "no Senate seat is worth more than a child" in the wake of a series of sexual allegations against Moore.
Conway was interviewed by Fox News on Monday morning, and was discussing tax reform when she began hammering Doug Jones, the Democrat in the Alabama Senate race.
"Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don't be fooled. He will be a vote against tax cuts. He is weak on crime. Weak on borders. He is strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners."
The "Fox & Friends" hosts seemed surprised by Conway's remarks, and host Brian Kilmeade cut in, "So vote Roy Moore?"
"I'm telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through. And the media -- if the media were really concerned about all of these allegations, and if that's what this is truly about, and the Democrats -- Al Franken would be on the ash heap of bygone half funny comedians," Conway said, referencing allegations made against the Minnesota senator.
Kilmeade then noted that "the RNC has withdrawn support for Roy Moore, Mitch McConnell has withdrawn support, so have the Young Republicans, withdrawn support."
"And a lot of women," co-host Ainsley Earhardt added.
But Conway was undeterred. "Right. And you know what? I just want everybody to know, Doug Jones, nobody ever says his name, and pretends he is some kind of conservative Democrat in Alabama. And he's not."
Later, Conway said that "there is no plan" for Trump to campaign for Moore in Alabama, but added that Trump "is going to continue traveling around the country on tax cuts and other issues."
Conway's comments Monday were a significant departure from the White House's previous rhetoric on Moore -- and her own.
Many White House representatives, including director of legislative affairs Marc Short, had previously referred questions about Moore to a neutral statement issued by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders while President Trump was on a 12-day trip in Asia.
"Like most Americans, the President believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person's life. The President also believes that if these allegations are true, Judge Moore will do the right thing and step aside," Sanders had said.
And just last week -- also on "Fox & Friends" -- Conway was a lot more critical of Moore, saying that "no Senate seat is worth more than a child."
"I'll repeat what our White House director of legislative affairs said on a Sunday show, we were on different Sunday shows -- whatever the facts end up being, the premise, of course, the principle, the incontrovertible principle, is that there is no Senate seat worth more than a child," Conway had said. "And we all want to put that forward. I have three daughters and a son, frankly, and we all are watching this. But again, this president, is so focused on the policy and the substance."
The Washington Post published a report earlier this month based on interviews with more than 30 people that said Moore pursued relationships with teenagers while he was in his 30s. One woman alleged she was 14 years old when Moore initiated sexual contact with her. Alabama's legal age of consent, then and now, is 16.
Since the Post's report, another woman has come forward and accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16.
Moore has continued to deny the allegations and he says he will not drop out of the race.