Moore and Jones will face off in the high-stakes election
The ‘Special Report’ All-Star panel weighs.
This is a rush transcript of “Special Report with Bret Baier,” December 12, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
ROY MOORE, REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE: We are Alabama. We are Republicans.
MOORE: I’m not talking with critics today. I talk with the people of Alabama.
Unidentified MALE VOTER: I voted for the conservative judges, traditional family values, Second Amendment, and against abortion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: How do you feel?
DOUG JONES, DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE: Exuberant. We feel good.
UNKNOWN FEMALE VOICE: I think it’s a very clear choice for our new senator.
Unidentified MALE VOTERS: This is about decency and integrity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE VOTER: We will make a difference when we get outside.
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY.: And we await the outcome of the Alabama Senate race.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, it would be a barn burner in Alabama. It is election night in Alabama for the Senate special election, Roy Moore, Doug Jones. Where are we? We bring in our panel: Lisa Boothe, a columnist for The Washington Examiner Chris Stirewalt, political editor here at Fox News, and Caitlin Huey-Burns national political reporter for Real Clear Politics. Before we go any further, you have in the deep, dark room, we call the decision desk. Looking at this time voter analysis —
CHRIS STIREWALT of FOX NEWS: Fox News voter analysis.
BAIER: That is FNVA.
STIREWALT: the Knowing, the learning, the love.
BAIER: Love. What do you have for us?
STIREWALT: I can tell you that the turnout looks pretty robust. There was speculation about the election of the officials in Alabama that we were going to see rock bottom turnout, 20 percent, 25 percent rise. We look at the rise, that is approaching to the nature of the numbers that you would see in a mid-term, real commitment, the voters are coming out. And that can’t be good news for Roy Moore.
BAIER: that is So, the question is whether the new voters one way or another, ratified by all of this dispute to come, Caitlin.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: for Sure. And this has become a nationalized special election for sure. You have Democrats talking about it as a way to send a message. You Republicans are really concerned about the elections. I think this is the first parliamentary election that we have seen in which national Republicans may be rooting against their own candidate in this race in the Roy Moore, worried about how to deal with him if he is in fact chosen tonight.
BAIER: So at that moment, Roy Moore did a radio interview today when he was asked about a Senate ethics investigation as possible, if he wins the elections. Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: It’s not about me, because it would be unconstitutional. And on the basis of article one, chapter five part one and two, it is not a qualification for office and, two, it is not disorderly conduct, if it were true, it is not true, but it is not only not true, they have not the power to overcome the votes of the people.
BAIER: That is not the smoothest closing argument, I think.
LISA BOOTHE, THE WASHINGTON post: “that is what the Republicans are struggling. If Moore wins, what do you do? It would be unprecedented to try to vote to expel a duly elected member of the Senate if the voters had knowledge of the allegations before they head to the polls. But Caitlin is right. This election is a national election, that the Democrats make. There is a reason Conyers and Senator Franken were forced to step aside and to resign. Democrats are looking towards 2018, and they look to 2020. There is a reason Democrats held a press conference today calling on President Trump, making this about President Trump.
But I think there are flaws with that, looking opportunistic. Also given the fact that Nancy Pelosi not too long ago said Franken is an icon. Gillibrand has embraced people like Bill Clinton, until it is no longer politically expedient for her to do this. We also do not know what other shoes are going to fall with the factual allegations things. And two —
BAIER: With other legislators, you mean.
BOOTHE: Right. And they have to make in 2020 a referendum on the identity of the politics that do not serve them well in not focusing on the problems, such as the economy that so many Americans care about.
BAIER: it is Clear that the Democrats seems to be on the resolve of the plate to try to use this as an election issue in 2018. At that time, that press conference got the president fired. He went to Twitter to say “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and anyone that would come to my office to beg for campaign contributions, not so long ago, and would do anything for them is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very infidelity to Bill and crooked-used!” Here is the senator to respond, and the Senate minority leader:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, D-N. Y.: It was a sexist smear a attempt to silence my voice, and I will not be silent about this topic. Neither will the women who are up to the president yesterday.
SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N. Y.: That tweet was nasty, unbecoming of a president. Senator Gillibrand is an excellent member of the Senate. The president needs to cut it out with the tweeting.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BAIER: The White House said that he has used that terminology before you talk about the men who asked him for donations on both sides of the aisle.
HUEY-BURNS, who She made that argument, though I think that given the background of what we see in terms of the cultural change in this country, it can be considered as highly insensitive and open-ended. I think that the Democrats bear some of the risks in politicizing this, but now they are thinking that this is a stimulating time for them to say we cleared our decks here, bringing the spotlight back on the president ahead of the mid-term elections, especially given how much the earth has shifted just in the past few weeks in Congress with these accusations.
BAIER: Ten seconds here, what are we looking for tonight?
STIREWALT: What we are looking for, just pay attention to Birmingham. I’m sorry, the rest of Alabama. We pay a lot of attention to Birmingham and the suburbs, that is the place where Jones has to run up the score. That’s the whole thing. A bit down on the gulf coast, but Birmingham and suburbs, that is where it’s at, that is what he must do if he has a chance to be the first Democrat to be elected in this state since 2006.
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