Shortly after a nude photo appeared online depicting a Texas congressman displaying his exposed genitals, Rep. Joe Barton apologized on Wednesday for his glaring lack of judgment. Throughout his public apology, the Republican congressman attempted to distant himself from any similarities to GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore’s alleged pedophilia and sexual assault.
“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” Rep. Barton told the Texas Tribune on Wednesday. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”
Along with the nauseating photo, which was anonymously posted online, a screenshot was posted of the 68-year-old’s sext message that read, “I want u soo bad. Right now. Deep and hard.”
“You’re as aware of what was posted as I am,” Barton told the Texas Tribune during a phone interview on Tuesday. “I am talking to a number of people, all of whom I have faith in and am deciding how to respond, quite frankly.”
Representing Texas’s 6th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1985, Barton announced his re-election bid earlier this month. Although Barton admitted that he was deliberating whether or not to drop out of the race, a spokeswoman for the congressman stated on Wednesday that he has no intention of resigning and has not formally withdrawn his bid for re-election.
“Moving forward, I expect for Mr. Barton to make the correct decision for his constituents and his family. I am saddened for everyone involved,” Pilot Point Rep. Michael Burgess recently told the Dallas Morning News.
In his apology, Barton emphasized that he had “consensual” relationships with “mature adult women” in a blatant attempt to distance his actions from the heinous allegations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore from Alabama. Accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl at his home and a 16-year-old waitress in his car, Moore allegedly dated several teenage girls in his late 20s and early 30s.
Earlier this year, Moore admitted during an interview that he first noticed his future wife at a dance recital when she was 15 years old. Moore recalled, “When I was deputy district attorney, many years before we got married, I saw her at a dance recital and I was standing, oh, at the back of the auditorium and I saw her up front. And I remember her name, it was Kayla Kisor. KK. But I remember that and I didn’t meet her there…it was, oh gosh, eight years later or something, I met her. And when she told me her name, I remembered.”
Instead of condemning Moore’s alleged crimes or Barton’s admitted stupidity, President Donald Trump has offered an open invitation to allow accused pedophiles and sex offenders into Congress in order to garner the Republican votes that he so desperately needs to pass legislation. Due to Trump’s own allegations of sexual harassment and assault, the president lacks the moral authority to condemn their actions without hypocritically calling attention to his own misconduct.