MONTGOMERY, Ala. — U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore was called “clueless” Friday by his opponent’s campaign for a July radio appearance in which he appeared not to know what the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was, during questions about his views on immigration.
Moore sounded perplexed when asked for his views on the DACA, or dreamer, immigration program, during an appearance on the Dale Jackson show.
“Pardon, the dreamer program?” Moore replied when asked about it. When Jackson asked Moore if he knew what that was, Moore responded he did not.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program gives a deportation reprieve to people brought into the country illegally before age 16. They are commonly called “dreamers.” President Donald Trump is expected to announce soon whether he will continue or end the program that began under the Obama administration.
The stumble initially caught little notice but has picked up interest in the increasingly heated Republican race between Moore and appointed Sen. Luther Strange. The two are running for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was known as a hardliner on immigration.
Strange’s campaign on Friday put out a video that featured audio of the exchange with Jackson under the title “Roy Moore is clueless on immigration.”
“Career Politician Roy Moore’s failure to know anything about the DACA program that was President Obama’s key method to halting deportations of illegal immigrants is beyond embarrassing,” the campaign said in a statement.
Moore’s campaign in a Friday statement downplayed the exchange, calling it an attempt to trap him with “Washington-speak.”
“Judge Moore doesn’t speak the language of Washington, he speaks the language of the Constitution. Judge Moore opposes amnesty under any name. These are the same tactics the career politicians and liberal media used against President Trump, trying to trap in Washington-speak. People don’t care about acronyms,” the campaign said in a statement.
Moore, the state’s former chief justice, led Strange by about 25,000 votes, or 6 percentage points, in the August Republican primary. The two face off in a Sept. 26 runoff.
Moore was twice removed from chief justice duties because of his stances in favor of the public display of the Ten Commandments and against gay marriage. He has a large following among the state’s evangelical voters which helped propel him to the runoff. Strange has been trying to poke holes in Moore’s appeal and questioned his suitability for office
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