Congressman Rokita trying to have it both ways on Roy Moore’s extremist campaign

Congressman Messer still silent on U.S. Senate frontrunner’s hateful actions

INDIANAPOLIS – Despite trying to mimic Roy Moore’s extremist campaign in Indiana, Congressman Rokita is now attempting to have it both ways, trying to excuse himself by saying that he doesn’t know Moore after writing a lengthy memo praising his campaign.

Congressman Rokita’s campaign brought the Alabama Senate race to Indiana Wednesday after publishing a memo claiming that his race was in the mold of Moore’s own successful primary run. “The outsider candidate in Alabama tapped into the same… dynamic,” the memo claimed, that “is going to be alive and well among Indiana’s Republican primary electorate.”

But when asked about Moore, Congressman Rokita furiously backpedaled, telling a Roll Call reporter that he wouldn’t comment on Moore’s message the same day his campaign wrote a memo praising it:

Rokita wouldn’t comment Wednesday on how or whether he would identify with Moore and his message.

“That’s all I have to say,” Rokita said when asked about Moore. “I don’t know either of those gentlemen, so I can’t really comment on it.”

If Congressman Rokita truly doesn’t know who Moore is, he should be made aware of the Alabaman’s history of extremism that long predates his Senate candidacy. And he should know that it’s impossible to separate Moore the candidate from Moore the judge, who gained notoriety among Alabama Republicans – and was forced to take the outsider lane – primarily because of his bigoted and hateful remarks.

Notable actions by Moore include:

  • Claiming that America was partially responsible for everything from the September 11 attacks to the Sandy Hook massacre because “we’ve distanced ourselves” from God;
  • Stating that “homosexual conduct” should be illegal, and even failing to say that being LGBT should not be punishable by death;
  • Directing judges under him to ignore the 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage;
  • And saying that his “personal belief” was that President Obama wasn’t born in America.

Moore has also claimed that Muslim representatives like Congressman Andre Carson, Congressmen Messer’s and Rokita’s own colleague in the Indiana House Delegation, should not be seated in Congress because of their religion. The comment directly contradicts the professed beliefs of Congressmen Messer and Rokita, who said just a few weeks ago that someone’s religious beliefs should have no correlation to their fitness for public service.

Congressman Messer hasn’t commented on Moore or Congressman Rokita’s memo, Roll Call reported. When asked, his campaign visibly ignored the topic, discussing Congressman Messer’s support for Trump in a statement instead. He has not been pressed further.

“Congressman Rokita is now trying to have his disgusting, bigoted cake and eat it too,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “He can’t be so short-sighted to think he can position himself as Roy Moore’s Indiana heir apparent while claiming to know nothing about him or the extremist positions that led to his rise. If Congressman Rokita believes Hoosier voters are foolish enough to believe him when he tries to talk out of both sides of his mouth, he’s in for a rude awakening.”

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