Hoosiers left to choose between Congressman Messer’s cowardly Roy Moore answer, or Rep. Braun and Congressman Rokita’s silence

Congressman Messer’s spineless “if true” response to Moore reports increasingly out of step with his own party

INDIANAPOLIS – When confronted after a week of hiding, Congressman Messer finally delivered a mealy-mouthed statement regarding recent reports of Roy Moore’s pedophilia. Now, Hoosier Republicans currently have to choose if they prefer Congressman Messer’s gutless response, or the stunning, continued silence of Congressman Rokita and Rep. Braun.

Asked at an event in Greenfield yesterday shortly before a fifth woman accused Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually molesting her when she was a teenager, Congressman Messer could only hedge, saying that the “allegations are disturbing, and if they’re true, they would be disqualifying.” His response puts him increasingly out of touch with his own party, as many Republicans, including Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, have said they believe the women molested by Moore and have called on him to withdraw from his race. Even Senator Young, the leader of Indiana’s Republican congressional delegation, finally gave a full condemnation of Moore the same day Congressman Messer gave his statement.

Congressman Messer’s statement, however spineless, does make him the only GOP senate candidate in Indiana to weigh in on the scandal thus far. Rep. Braun, who has continued to remain out of the spotlight and let his campaign war chest talk for him, has not weighed in on whether Moore should stay in the race.

The silence is most glaring, however, from Congressman Rokita’s camp. Not only has Congressman Rokita failed to say whether he believes Moore should withdraw from the race, but he hasn’t even been able to renounce his campaign’s controversial memo claiming that he would take up Moore’s mantle in Indiana. Congressman Rokita has made excuses instead of apologizing and came under scrutiny on IN Focus Sunday after his campaign said that the memo, entitled “What Roy Moore’s victory in Alabama means for… IN Senate primary,” was not about Roy Moore specifically.

“Congressman Messer spent days trying to hide this issue before being confronted and forced to respond – and even then, his shameful, cowardly answer is not only ignoring overwhelming evidence, it’s increasingly out of step with his own party,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “You have no place seeking to represent Hoosiers in Congress if you can’t even put aside partisanship to condemn a reported pedophile, and the voices of Congressman Rokita and Rep. Braun are still notably absent. How can these men expect voters to look to them for leadership when they remain silent?”

###