Trump promotes Moore before Florida rally Friday

Posted: Updated:

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump on Friday reinforced his support for embattled Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, telling voters four days before they go to the polls that the "LAST thing" he needs in the closely divided GOP-controlled Senate is a "Liberal Democrat" who opposes his agenda.

Trump tweeted that message hours before he was to hold a rally Friday night in Pensacola, Florida.

The White House has said the rally is a campaign event for Trump. But the location, near the Alabama border and feeding television markets in the state, stoked speculation that the rally was a backdoor way for the president to give Moore's campaign a boost without actually setting foot in the state. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said there was no room on Trump's schedule for him to visit Alabama before Tuesday's election.

"LAST thing the Make America Great Again Agenda needs is a Liberal Democrat in Senate where we have so little margin for victory already," Trump said Friday on Twitter, referring to the 52-48 GOP edge in the Senate. He criticized Democrat Doug Jones, Moore's opponent, as being "bad" on a number of issues.

"The Pelosi/Schumer Puppet Jones would vote against us 100% of the time. He's bad on Crime, Life, Border, Vets, Guns & Military. VOTE ROY MOORE!" Trump said.

Moore, who is 70, has been dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct involving teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

Moore tweeted in response that he agreed with Trump.

"You're right Mr. President! We can't Make America Great Again with another radical liberal in the US Senate," he said. "I look forward to working with you to pass the America First Agenda!"

Trump, who overcame allegations of sexual misconduct to win last year's presidential election, looked past the charges against Moore and endorsed the former Alabama judge this week. Top Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, had called on Moore to step aside after the allegations were made public.

Friday's campaign rally will be Trump's first since September, when he went to Alabama to campaign for Sen. Luther Strange.

Strange lost the GOP runoff election to Moore.

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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