Washington (CNN)The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has no plans to back Alabama Republican Roy Moore after President Donald Trump endorsed him and the Republican National Committee decided to jump back into the race.
McConnell-aligned super PAC still staying away from Moore
"We are following the NRSC's lead in Alabama," SLF spokesman Chris Pack said in a statement to CNN. An official at the National Republican Senatorial Committee previously told CNN on Monday that it would not re-engage in the race.
The decision by SLF stands in contrast to the President, who stressed in a tweet this week that Republicans "need (Moore's) vote" on a host of key policy issues that could come before Congress.
Meanwhile, McConnell has stopped short of backing Moore, saying Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that he will "let the people of Alabama make the call." Those remarks were noticeably toned down from a few weeks ago, when McConnell urged Moore to step aside.
That shift reflects "an acknowledgment that despite our best efforts, Moore will be on the ballot," said one source familiar with McConnell's thinking. However, that new political reality has not persuaded McConnell to direct his allies to actively support Moore.
McConnell's position puts him at odds with both Trump and the Republican National Committee, which decided Monday to reestablish support for Moore following the President's endorsement. The committee, which previously cut fundraising ties with Moore, now has pledged to transfer money to the Alabama Republican Party.
The SLF, for its part, has a complicated history with Moore and the Alabama Senate race, having spent tens of millions of dollars to boost Luther Strange and oppose Moore in the GOP primary. Still, SLF officials previously said the group would consider jumping in during the final phase of the special election if Democrat Doug Jones posed a real threat to Moore.
With one week until Election Day, polling now shows the race neck and neck, but SLF nevertheless plans to remain on the sidelines, along with McConnell and the NRSC. The decision could have major ramifications on the balance of power in Washington: Should Jones win, it would shrink the Republican majority in the Senate to 51 votes.