Roy Moore's claim that America was 'great' during slavery resurfaces, sparking huge backlash

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore has sparked outrage among many on the left once again after his comments on slavery from a campaign event earlier this year resurfaced this week. 

At the event, which took place when Moore was still facing fellow Republican Luther Strange for the party's nomination, an audience member asked Moore the last time America was great. 

"I think it was great at the time when families were united -- even though we had slavery -- they cared for one another ... Our families were strong, our country had a direction," Moore responded, according to the Los Angeles Times

SEE ALSO: Democrats turn on one of their own to try to take down Moore

His reference to slavery appears to indicate that Moore believes that America was last great before the Civil War. As many progressives on Twitter noted, while some American families may have been intact during this era, slave families were routinely broken up and as members were sold for profit. 

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Roy Moore and his wife, Kayla, through the years
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Roy Moore and his wife, Kayla, through the years
GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore on Sassy and wife Kayla on Sundance ride their horses to the Gallant Fire Hall to vote in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
Republican Roy Moore, along with his wife Kayla, arrive at the RSA Activity Center in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. September 26, 2017, during the runoff election for the Republican nomination for Alabama's U.S. Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and his wife Kayla arrive at state Supreme Court in Montgomery, Alabama, November 13, 2003. Moore, whose refusal to obey a U.S. order to move a Ten Commandments monument fueled a national debate over the place of God in public life, was stripped of his office by a state judicial panel on Thursday. REUTERS/Bob Ealum BE/SV
Suspended Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) exits the Alabama Supreme Court chamber with his wife Kayla following the reading of the verdict of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary at the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Alabama, November 13, 2003. Moore, whose refusal to obey a U.S. order to move a Ten Commandments monument fueled a national debate over the place of God in public life, was stripped of his office by a state judicial panel on Thursday. REUTERS/Mickey Welsh /Advertiser/POOL MW/SV
Ex-Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka (L) campaigns for U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore, with his wife Kayla Moore (R), at the Historic Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Tami Chappell
Judge Roy Moore's wife Kayla participates in the Mid-Alabama Republican Club's Veterans Day Program in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, U.S., November 11, 2017. REUTERS/Marvin Gentry
BIRMINGHAM, AL - NOVEMBER 16: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks as his wife Kayla Moore looks on during a news conference with supporters and faith leaders, November 16, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore refused to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations and pursuing relationships with underage women. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, AL - NOVEMBER 16: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore and his wife Kayla Moore exit a news conference with supporters and faith leaders, November 16, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore refused to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations and pursuing relationships with underage women. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore and his wife Kayla greet supporters at an election-night rally on September 26, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, defeated incumbent Luther Strange in a primary runoff election for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. Moore will now face Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the general election in December. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore and wife Kayla leave the Gallant Fire Hall after voting in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
MONTGOMERY, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore and his wife Kayla greet supporters at an election-night rally on September 26, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Moore, former chief justice of the Alabama supreme court, defeated incumbent Luther Strange in a primary runoff election for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. Moore will now face Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the general election in December. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
GALLANT, AL - SEPTEMBER 26: Alabama Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, mother Evelyn Ridgeway (L), and wife Kayla (R) prepare to vote at the Gallant Fire Hall in today's GOP runoff election September 26, 2017 in Gallant, Alabama. Moore is running against Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) to fill Jeff Session's seat. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
Ex-Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka (L) applauds as he campaigns for U.S. Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore with his wife Kayla Moore (R) at the Historic Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Tami Chappell TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The report also noted that the question was asked by one of only a handful of black people who had attended the event. 

The comments were initially reported in September but went viral on Thursday when a former Obama administration official tweeted about them. 

"Can't make this up—Roy Moore said in September that the last time America was great was when we had slavery," Eric Columbus said in his tweet.

SEE ALSO: Obama blamed for slave trade in African country as shocking video goes viral

The resurfaced comments sparked further backlash on Twitter, especially from progressives, some of whom suggested the slavery remarks were even more disturbing than the sexual assault allegations. 

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Roy Moore's claim American was 'great' during slavery sparks backlash
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Roy Moore's claim American was 'great' during slavery sparks backlash
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
For suggesting life was better during segregation and Jim Crow, Trent Lott was run out of the Senate. Now Roy Moore… https://t.co/CHAYc4HEQN
If you are Black in Alabama, what more do you need? Roy @MooreSenate actually said times were better in America for… https://t.co/8VLgtBOzKD
Still can't get over the fact that Roy Moore was asked when was the last time America was great and he literally said during slavery.
Unbelievable. @ShaunKing is NOT kidding you. Moore: “I think it was great at the time when families were united --… https://t.co/bUP1mSF8sv
👇🏽 Black Constituent: When was America great? Roy Moore: Before abolition of slavery. 👆🏽 #DougJonesForSenate https://t.co/AHYzu6yjWB
Just to be absolutely clear, The Republican Party has formally endorsed a candidate for Senate who believes the co… https://t.co/qj2zJsg2uw
SLAVERY. Roy Moore said the last time America was great was during slavery. With a straight face. Slavery.… https://t.co/sXF57uqLNK
Like everyone should be super shocked that the same “man” who stalked and sexually assaulted girls, also thinks Jew… https://t.co/3WUtSClQvE
@realDonaldTrump Do you love pedophilia? Do you miss slavery? Do you think Putin is right? Do you believe women… https://t.co/lzrViQbA7D
Good Morning! In case you were left with any doubt, please be advised The Make America Great Again Agenda loves sla… https://t.co/MGB3EJjvZW
Even if the pedophilia charges were false, I would still question the morality of someone who believes making Ameri… https://t.co/EyDA56ODeS
Reminder: the GOP & the president are campaigning for a Senate candidate who is not only is accused of child molest… https://t.co/Mt486qPSXF
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The renewed scrutiny on the opinion comes as Moore is locked in a close race with Democrat Doug Jones to see who will become the next member of the U.S. Senate to represent Alabama. Republicans Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions were both elected in the 1990s, and Luther Strange has been serving in Sessions' place since he was named Attorney General earlier this year. 

President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for voters to support Moore over "liberal" Jones. He did not reference the slavery comments but tweeted his support once again Friday. 

SEE MORE: Roy Moore's first accuser writes powerful open letter

"LAST thing the Make America Great Again Agenda needs is a Liberal Democrat in Senate where we have so little margin for victory already. The Pelosi/Schumer Puppet Jones would vote against us 100% of the time. He’s bad on Crime, Life, Border, Vets, Guns & Military. VOTE ROY MOORE!" the president tweeted.

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