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Roy Moore’s wife revives bigotry charges against her husband. Was that intentional?

If Kayla Moore was trying to convince the public that her husband Roy Moore is not an anti-Semite, she hardly could have done a worse job.

Her election eve comment — “One of our attorneys is a Jew” — became an instant punchline, summing up Republican Roy Moore’s long history of overt bigotry just hours before polls opened in Alabama’s U.S. Senate election.

Whether it was intentional is worthy of debate.

The predictable howls of outrage over Kayla Moore’s prepared remarks fit the deep-rooted tradition in American politics of stoking voter prejudice in the closing hours of a campaign.

It’s a tactic especially fraught in a state where Moore’s political base is not all that different from that of George Wallace, the Alabama governor who championed segregation in the 1960s.

Parallels between Moore and Wallace are all but impossible to avoid.

Moore’s Democratic rival, Doug Jones, is a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted two Ku Klux Klansmen for the killing of four girls in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.

Jones’ prospect of victory on Tuesday hinges on the support of thousands of African Americans who were still blocked from voting under the Jim Crow culture that Wallace fought to preserve.

Some Democrats say Republican efforts to suppress Alabama’s black vote Tuesday could help usher Moore into the Senate. Republicans deny any effort to discourage blacks from voting.

At a rally Monday night in Midland City, Ala., Kayla Moore faulted the news media and critics of her husband for the way they’ve characterized his remarks on Jews, African Americans and other minorities.

“Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews,” she told supporters, reading from notes as Roy Moore stood behind her. “I tell you all of this because I’ve seen it all, so I just want to set the record straight while they’re here.”

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