Alabama senator-elect Doug Jones responded Thursday to his rival Roy Moore’s refusal to concede the election — which Moore called a "struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization and our religion" — during an interview on "Today," saying, “It’s time to move on.”
Why won’t Moore concede?
In a video message on Wednesday, Moore told his supporters that “the battle rages on” because "immorality sweeps over our land.”
"In this race, we have not received the final count to include military and provisional ballots," Moore said. "This has been a very close race — and we are awaiting certification by the secretary of state."
Moore painted a dire picture of the United States, arguing, “Today, we no longer recognize the universal truth that God is the author of our life and liberty. Abortion, sodomy, and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Alabama's Secretary of State John Merrill told ABC News that Jones' margin of victory will not dip below 0.5 percent, making an automatic recount "highly unlikely."
Thank you ALABAMA!!— Doug Jones (@Doug Jones)1513135858.0
Jones' victory marks the first time deep-red Alabama has elected a Democratic senator in 25 years, according to CNN.
What did Jones say?
Jones said on "Today" that “the people of Alabama have now spoken.”
“I understand the frustration a little bit, it is a close race, but I’d say, look, it’s time to move on,” Jones said. “We feel very confident in the outcome of this race.
“I think he’d do well to just go ahead and let’s get this behind us, so the people of Alabama can get someone in there and start working for them,” Jones said.
How did President Trump respond?
While Moore has refused to concede, Republicans, including the president, have congratulated Jones on his victory.
Jones told reporters Wednesday that he received a "very gracious" phone call from President Donald Trump, invited him to visit the White House.
“We talked about finding that common ground,” Jones said, adding he appreciated the president’s effort to reach out.
Senator-elect Doug Jones describes "very gracious" phone call from President Trump, says Trump invited him to the White House as soon as he gets to Washington. pic.twitter.com/8zqqHZmTid
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) December 13, 2017
Trump, who offered Moore a controversial endorsement shortly before Tuesday’s special election, also took to Twitter to congratulate Jones:
Congratulations to Doug Jones on a hard fought victory. The write-in votes played a very big factor, but a win is a… https://t.co/QLFQ88UaLM— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1513138121.0
The reason I originally endorsed Luther Strange (and his numbers went up mightily), is that I said Roy Moore will n… https://t.co/DcgJPmLTXy— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1513164124.0
If last night’s election proved anything, it proved that we need to put up GREAT Republican candidates to increase… https://t.co/H4IWrlwWwl— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1513176348.0