After Backing Roy Moore, Ben Carson Has Been Awfully Silent

We asked Carson’s spokesman if the HUD secretary still supports Moore. Here’s what he said.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson at Vaux Big Picture High School in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)AP Photo/Matt Rourke

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On September 22, as the Republican primary race for Jeff Sessions’ old Senate seat in Alabama narrowed, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson went out on a limb for Roy Moore. Though his boss, President Donald Trump, was enthusiastically tweeting his support for the establishment-backed candidate, Luther Strange, Carson issued a carefully worded statement that stopped just short of an official endorsement of Moore, who was best known for being removed as chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court after ignoring a court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the courthouse. “Judge Moore is a fine man of proven character and integrity, who I have come to respect over the years,” Carson said. “He is truly someone who reflects the Judeo-Christian values that were so important to the establishment of our country. It is these values that we must return to make America great again. I wish him well and hope everyone will make sure they vote on Tuesday.” Hours after Carson issued this statement, Trump arrived in Alabama to stump for Strange, who in short order was defeated by Moore.

Since allegations have emerged that Moore, while in his mid-30s, pursued relationships with teenaged girls, including one as young as 14, Republicans around the country have called on the former judge to drop out of the Senate race. (Moore has claimed the allegations are untrue and politically motivated.) Yet Carson has remained conspicuously silent as the allegations against Moore have piled up. On Monday, a fifth woman came forward to allege that Moore assaulted her when she was 16

On Monday afternoon, after Mother Jones inquired about Carson’s stance on Moore, a Housing and Urban Development spokesman offered a general condemnation of politicians who assault women, but it did not mention Moore by name. 

“The Secretary believes any man that assaults any woman is unfit for public office,” Raffi Williams, HUD’s director of communications, said in an email.

Williams did not respond to follow-up questions about whether Carson believes Moore’s accusers.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate