Bannon blasts GOP leaders in contentious Alabama Senate race

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Fairhope, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon speaks during a rally for U.S. Senate hopeful Roy Moore, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Fairhope Ala. (AP Photo/

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, left, kisses his wife, Kayla Moore after he speaks at a campaign rally, Tuesday, Dec

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a rally, in Fairhope, Al

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a campaign rally, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Fairhope Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn A

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) — Populist firebrand Steve Bannon savaged national Republican leaders in a fiery call to rally voters behind embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore as the battle for the GOP's soul spilled into a dirt-floor barn deep in rural Alabama.

Bannon, known best for his former role as President Donald Trump's chief strategist, called GOP leaders in Congress "cowards" Tuesday night and attacked the party's 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney as a draft dodger as he defended Moore, who's fighting allegations of sexual misconduct.

Bannon's appearance was a welcome development for Moore, who has been shunned by the Republican Party's biggest stars. Trump himself agreed to campaign later in the week in nearby Florida, but many national GOP leaders say the allegations against Moore are credible and he shouldn't serve in the Senate.