Political world reacts to Roy Moore's victory in contentious Alabama primary runoff

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Political world reacts to Roy Moore's victory in contentious Alabama primary runoff
Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, greets supporter Patricia Jones, right, before his election party, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, in Montgomery, Ala.(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

From President Donald Trump to the Democratic National Committee, the political world reacted quickly to Roy Moore's primary runoff victory on Tuesday night.

Moore - who was removed as the state's chief justice after refusing to take down a Ten Commandments monument that he commissioned for a state judicial building - beat current Sen. Luther Strange by about 10 percentage points on Tuesday. Moore was supported by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Republicans largely struck a supportive tone, even though Trump had endorsed Strange, who was named to the position after Jeff Sessions vacated the seat when he became attorney general.

Vice President Mike Pence sent his congratulations to the victor.

Support also came from the Republican National Committee via Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

"Congratulations to Roy Moore on his victory tonight," she said in a statement. "The people of Alabama are united behind the conservative agenda Republicans are championing in Washington. This message of support for President Trump and his agenda will be loud and clear when the people of Alabama head to the polls again in December."

A number of Republican senators sent their congratulations, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose support for Strange ended up being an albatross around Strange's neck.

"I would like to congratulate Roy Moore on his victory in Alabama tonight. He ran a spirited campaign centered around a dissatisfaction with the progress made in Washington," McConnell said in his statement. "I share that frustration and believe that enacting the agenda the American people voted for last November requires us all to work together. We look forward to Judge Moore's help enacting that agenda when he arrives. Senate Republicans will be as committed to keeping Alabama's Senate seat in Republican hands with Roy Moore as we were with Luther Strange. I urge all of our friends who were active in the primary to redouble their efforts in the general election."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, now a political commentator, touted his support for Moore after the victory.

The tone from the Democratic side was, obviously, very different, striking back at Moore's victory and painting him as a "fringe" candidate for his views on ethics and gay rights. The Human Rights Campaign had especially harsh words for Moore.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and Democratic National Committee Associate Chairman Jaime Harrison touted Moore's opponent in the general election in December, Doug Jones.

"Voters can't look past Roy Moore's fringe beliefs, habit of putting himself first and his dishonesty," Van Hollen said in a statement. "Even Republicans have said Moore is unfit to serve and spent millions to keep him out of office. Doug Jones is a man of character and integrity who is unafraid to stand up for what's right and has a proven record of independence that will serve Alabama families in the U.S. Senate."

"Roy Moore has demonstrated time and again that he is unfit to represent Alabamians in the U.S. Senate," Harrison said in a statement. "As a judge, he raised his own taxpayer-funded salary, even though Alabama's judges were the already the highest paid in the nation. Twice, he was stripped of his duties as chief justice for defying the law. And on top of that, he and his wife pocketed more than $1 million from their own charity. Alabamians deserve better. They deserve an independent leader like Doug Jones as their next senator."

ABC News' John Verhovek contributed to this report.

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