Sen. Bill Cassidy renounced Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore on Saturday amid a sexual misconduct controversy allegedly involving teenage girls which has already cost the former judge two key GOP Senate endorsements.
"Based on the allegations against Roy Moore, his response and what is known, I withdraw support," Cassidy, R-La., said in a tweet.
Based on the allegations against Roy Moore, his response and what is known, I withdraw support.— Bill Cassidy (@BillCassidy) November 12, 2017
Cassidy distancing himself from the conservative firebrand follows the un-endorsements of Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Steve Daines of Montana.
"Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate," Lee said in a tweet Friday evening.
Moments later Daines tweeted out his own brief message: "I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate."
The retractions are in response to a bombshell Washington Post report published Thursday containing accounts from four women alleging Moore sought sexual relations with them when they were teenagers.
One of the women mentioned in the Post report claims that more than 30 years ago, in 1979, when she was 14, Moore touched her in a sexual manner. Moore denies this allegation of sexual misconduct but has not ruled out that he dated other teenage girls when he was in his 30's, claiming Friday in a radio interview he "generally" does not remember dating girls that young.
He defended himself at a Veterans Day event Saturday in Alabama, saying, "I have the highest regard for the protection of young children."
Other Republican lawmakers who have endorsed, but not yet withdrawn their support of Moore, include Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday that if the allegations are proven true, Moore "must step aside."
Moore is not without defenders. Notably, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who endorsed Moore, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the Post report goes "deeper than politics — it’s about trying to destroy a man’s life."
Moore, a longtime Alabama state judge, defeated Sen. Luther Strange in the GOP primary in September. Strange had been the preferred candidate of Bannon and President Trump. The general election contest, which aims to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he was picked to be Trump's attorney general, is scheduled for Dec. 12. The Democrat in the race is Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney.