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Republicans wasted no time Tuesday night in publicly blaming former White House strategist Steve Bannon for the stunning loss of Roy Moore in Alabama, a state that President Donald Trump won by nearly 30 points in the 2016 presidential election.
"Not only did Steve Bannon cost us a critical Senate seat in one of the most Republican states in the country, but he also dragged the President of the United States into his fiasco," said Steve Law, president and CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "This is a brutal reminder that candidate quality matters regardless of where you are running."
Bannon, who left the White House this summer under a cloud to return to Breitbart News, had been Moore's most high-profile champion in the weeks following reports of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore, which became public in early November.
Following the allegations, McConnell called on Moore to drop out of the race, but Moore, buoyed by Bannon, refused. A few weeks later, Trump endorsed Moore.
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., went a step further, saying the Senate should vote to remove Moore if he were elected. Gardner chairs the Senate Republicans' campaign fundraising committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
"Tonight's results are clear – the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate," Gardner said Tuesday. "I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority."